The Wrap: Nokia’s “Batphone,” hot indie games, the psychology of color

The Wrap: Nokia’s “Batphone,” hot indie games, the psychology of color

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Here are my favorite Windows Phone stories of the week. What about you?

Lumia 900 “Batphone” launches in U.K. 

It’s not just for Commissioner Gordon anymore. Nokia has created a limited-edition Lumia 900 to satisfy your inner superhero and celebrate the July 20 release of The Dark Knight Rises, the latest installment of the Batman saga. The phone’s black polycarbonate case sports a laser-etched Batman logo on the back. There’s also an exclusive Dark Knight Rises app with movie-themed wallpapers and ringtones. As The Verge reports, Phones 4U in the U.K. is now taking preorders for the handset, with an expected June 1 delivery date. Learn more

The limited-edition Lumia 900 "Batphone" is launching in the U.K. this week.

How to create a flight simulator app

Whether you’re a fan of Infinite Flight, one of Marketplace’s best flight sims, or simply a developer wondering how other people do it, you’ll enjoy the interview with Infinite Flight CEO Matthieu Laban on Nokia’s blog today. In the post, Laban discusses the future of Infinite Flight and the challenge of creating a realistic flight simulator on a smartphone. “Anybody could write their own app,” Laban says. “All it takes is time and passion.” Read it now

Matthieu Laban, creator of Infinite Flight, one of Marketplace's top flight simulators.

What your phone’s color says about you

Why do some people fall for fuchsia-tinted phones while others prefer blue or black? Nokia blogger Jeppe Christensen explains what drives our color decisions and what it means about us. “Every time you make a color choice, you’re making a statement about what’s going on in your head,” color psychologist Angela Wright told him. Wonder what’s going on in yours? Read on

Why do people choose certain colors?

8 great indie games for Windows Phone

WPCentral’s George Ponder picks the best Marketplace games written by “indie” developers—you know, the folks who spend their lunch hours or long nights in basements creating new apps. The Windows Phone Marketplace is filled with great indie games, including some that “can give the larger software companies (EA, Microsoft, etc.) a run for their money,” argues Ponder.  In the end, he settles on eight favorites: AlphaJax, Archer, ARMED!, Bike Mania, Breakrusher, Impossible Shoota, Juice Factory, and MissileDefender. But one look at reader comments and you’ll see the question of best is far from settled. Read the post

WPCentral picks the best indie games for Windows Phone.

And finally...Jim Cramer squawks about Windows Phone

Is celebrity stock picker Jim Cramer mad about Windows Phone? On CNBC’s Squawk on the Street this week, the wild man of Wall Street said he bumped into Microsoft CEO and former Harvard classmate Steve Ballmer at their reunion last weekend (both were class of 1977). Cramer checked out Steve’s Windows Phone and told his co-hosts he was impressed. “I’m not kidding,” he raved, “the Windows Phone was cool.” (He also called Windows 8 “fabulous.”) Smart picks, Jimbo, smart picks. Watch the clip

CNBC celebrity stock picker Jim Cramer thinks Windows Phone is "cool".

38 Comments
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  • @ Scuba.. Tell me about it... Unfortunately I might have to wait till May 2013.. But, I can early update this December... I'm hoping for another Night out party so I can get a chance to win a 3g WP device.. Lol!

  • Oh, I don't hide the fact that I'd like nothing more than for both Apple and Google to die quick deaths. ;)

    But, as I said regarding the search engines, the preference tends to go with what we're most familiar.  Both engines keep changing as they try to get an edge up on the other, and right now Google artificially places things like Google+ in front of their search results and Bing is (currently) more realistic in its algorithm.  That could change tomorrow, of course.   But, @Rodney, you DO need to get a Lumia 900 (if you're not holding out for a first-gen Windows Phone 8, of course).  So far, Nokia has proven that they are SERIOUS about updating and supporting their devices, even in spite of the fact that AT&T SUCKS AT UPDATES.  As much as I do still love my Samsung Focus, the combination of Samsung and AT&T is an abyss when it comes to support.

  • @ KR

    Now, now, calm down... I was just joking... Scuba usually gives me pretty good perspective. Actually, between you, and Scuba, we all get pretty good perspective around here.

    I would say that I dont like Google either, but Google Search is perfect, and I love YouTube, although I do think the engineers that designs Android does YouTube because its a mess, just like the Google play website. When I think of Google I think of ugly, messy, old... But besides Android the other services actually work!

    IMO, MS is just in a different league than Google. MS is like Ferrari, were Google is Ford. Sure Ford sells more cars, but..... Nevertheless, a Ford is good enough and more accessible,, not saying that WP isn't practical... Whatever, bad comparison, but while I love the NEW MS, I'm not going to totally dismis Google. I'll give credit where credit is due.

    The only reason it kills me that Google search is a few steps forward than Bing is because search is SOOOO important. I just think Bing needs a little tweaking, it's sufficient, and beautiful, but give me just a little more, and it will be perfect.

  • KR
    503 Posts

    @Rodney

    You said it all.if it was only left to @scuba,wp will never improve.i'm sure if all wp could do was play Tetris he'll still say its perfect and the best ☺.on don't expect scuba to make a fair compares with any Google products,he hates Google and all they do. He's bias by default

  • @ Scuba..

    If it were up to you WP would never evolve because everythings already perfected! Lol.. Gotcha dude!

    No, but for real.. I need to get a Nokia device Asap!

    About the search results... I think it would be nice if they made the separate "initial" results in separate tabs. It can default into "web results" or what's most relevant, but let me choose to scroll to "news".. Dont f#%k with my list, just give me as many of one kind of results first. I guess I just don't like the suggestions, just guess which category I want... Just an idea....

  • @Rodney, I have to say that I use Nokia Drive exclusively, now, for TBT.  It is just so slick, so consistent and I love that I can change the voice to a Brit chick.  It outperformed my buddy's Tom Tom GPS device, getting me to our location a full fifteen minutes earlier than him via a shorter route.  On the search history, do you have that setting turned on?  I do, and it behaves pretty much like it does on the desktop (which is totally what I want).  Regarding the repeating of the first results when you click Next Results, I think what it's really doing is changing the search to JUST the type of results you select....notice as you scroll down on the original results, there are just a few of each TYPE of result (eg. Web, Product, News).  You can click on "Next Web Results", "Next Product Results", etc.  At that point it sort of "starts over" but refined to just that type of search.  Given this fact AND the fact that you can also pivot the search results from Web to Local to Images, I'm not sure I understand your contention that there's no organization to the results.  I should think that, as expected, once you are looking at the TYPE of results you want that the order of the results would totally be based on popularity.  And "small list of image results"?  Huh?  I think it depends on what you're searching for.  I did one search the other day and made the mistake of accidently pivoting to Images and got over 100 pictures.  On the search bar, I guess for consistency's sake, you're right.  But since I type on the on-screen keyboard, which is always on the bottom, I don't much care where the search bar is.

  • @ tsrblke, and Scuba

    Dont get me wrong, I use Bing for all my search needs, and for the most part it's very helpful. The things I think need to improve, or that bother me??

    1. On the phone.. Maps will not save my view settings. I want it to stay on Ariel view

    2. On the desktop.. Bing maps doesn't zoom in as far as google maps, and the resolution sucks. (in arial  view).

    3. OTP.. Bing maps will not give me a list of recently viewed searches. There is a search results tab, but its always empty. Bing maps always acts like its new out of the box, not like I've been using it.

    4. OTP.. I like the TBT, but two things need to change. It needs to read directions automatically, and scroll  without a tap from me. Actually, they should make this a option because some might like the way it is now. And, the distance is displayed to small, and not in real time. I want those numbers moving as I move along.

    5. OTD.. No, Bing does not return the same amount of relevant searches. I have tested both, just yesterday, and consistently Google gives more, accurately, especially in the shopping area. If you depend solely on Bing maps to get the best prices on the web then you aren't getting the best price. Try for yourself. Search for a specific item on Bing/shoping, the go to google and do the same. Since google gives more relevant results theirs always a few sites it suggest with lower prices. I use Bing like 99% of the time, but I'm not going to loose money because I'm WPcrazy.

    6. OTP/OTD.. Why does Bing repeat the last 3 or 4 results when you hit " next set of results" WTF! It makes you feal like you aren't getting anywhere. This is especially annoying on the phone where the list of results is annoyingly short. Google repeats only the last 1 from the previous page.

    7. OTP.. The search results are not organized in a way that makes any kind of sence. This is where WP is most like Android. Lol

    8. OTP.. Why such a small list of image results, and no option to load more. You also can't scroll through Images without having to back out of the current. Its time consuming, especially on 3G! Lol..

    9. OTP.. The search bar in Bing is at the top when it should be at the bottom by my fingers. I suppose this would be really annoying if I had a 4.7 inch screen.

    10. There could be more, but I'm getting tired of bitching.

    Some of the things I mentioned are comparisons to Google, some are things that may be exclusive to Bing, but need to be revised, and some are just personal annoyances of mine. Either way, these things probably are bothersome to a lot of people, and when people say they prefer a product over yours, for whatever reason, you'd better listing, and go back to the drawing board. I'm sorry people, but I want WP to be the best,, for everyone, and all types of users. And, I have faith it will be, but I got to give MS honest feedback.

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @Scuba

    I was under the impresssion that Nokia maps will basically be running Bing Maps in the future for all phones (and the web site.)  But perhaps I misunderstood.

    I recently switched to Bing from Google for my Desktop default provider (to see if I could rack up enough "Reward points" to score some free Xbox points to buy stuff.)  It takes a bit of getting used to, but for the most part I find it returns about what I expect it too, with a few quirks that need to be worked out.

    Frankly I've never had much a problem on the phone.  I use the voice search a lot. If I say "Find: Weather in Chicago" I get a nice little forcast for chicago (which may be all I want at that time rather than using an app.)  Same if I say "Find Dow Jones Industrial Average" so I can weep at my 401K.

    It gets a bit quirky with news.  Sometimes it craps out with the local search (I'm constantly having to hit "Find location" if I voice search for "Resturants."  to the point where I've given up on that and go straight to local scout.)  But over all I'm perfectly fine with it.  What's the big problem for all y'all?

  • @Rodney, I really think that it's not so much that Google returns  better results, I think it's more that for many people Google's method is more familiar.  I'm so use to Bing now that anytime I watch someone use Google it just looks foreign to me.  Also, I admit that I now prefer Nokia Maps to Bing Maps and, allegedly, Nokia will be configuring all future Nokia phones to default to that instead of Bing Maps when you hit the map buttons.

  • @ Scuba..

    Lol! I knew you wouldn't like it... I thought the chassis was nice, the best Ive seen from HTC. Yes the layout, and design of the OS is pathetic!.. Lol

    Bing maps, and search, let's just admit it here, isn't spectacular on WP, but I would rather use my search button than use Google on my phone. I like Bing!! But, Google does return back better results, im not sure why, but it does. I just hope that MS can get Bing to provide better search results in the future. I really hate the way Google products look. It's like 2005 all over again, old! I'm confident its going to be all about WP-W8-Xbox-Kenect in the future, so I'm pretty patient while I wait.

    But, unit Bing gets its act together I think it sux for these guys that the Google services they need aren't available. If MS is lending its services to other platforms then the others need to do the same for WP.

    Now that MS won't grant HTC a lisence to make 8 tablets, I'm not sure how thats going to affect their WP efforts.

  • Well, I played with the One S just to see what the hubub was about.  Not impressed.  First, it feels more like a toy than even my Samsung Focus.  And it seems to move no faster than my Lumia 900.  And it's just plain UGLY, both in hardware and the fact it's Android.  In my opinion, it's impossible for Android to be made to NOT look ugly.  And what the heck does that mean, "I miss my Google apps"?

  • What's the point of these guys coming to ask questions, and never coming back to see if there's a reply?? Unless Its a rhetorical question.... Oh well.

  • @ KR... He'll live.. Lol

    But, in other news.... WTF?? Another update for the 900??? I'm calling the NAACP! YES, I'm chalking this up as a racial thing. Lol... Hey guys,, where's the fix for my dissapering keyboard??

  • KR
    503 Posts

    @Rodney

    I think he has no problem with Facebook, he is just wishing for better messenger integration just as much Facebook is integrated

  • @ Tazzie.

    Can you not use Facebook? You should be able to link those accounts. Live messenger?? I think you can link it,, just authorize it on your phone. Is this available in your region?

  • Tazzie
    1 Posts

    Dear Windows Live Hotmail,

    I think you should make Windows Live Messenger like Facebook ON PHONE;

    - Where you can go on your notifications

    - Comment on people statuses

    - Upload pictures

    - Tag people in pictures

    etc;

    I really think you should do this, it would make other people want to have Windows Live Messenger too!!

    Because; instead of going on the computer to check when people commented on your statuses, and you commenting on other peoples statuses and going on the computer to upload pictures; this way will be much easier, I really recommend you doing this and updating it to be like this.

    Reply back to me to my email ; tasfiah@hotmail.com

    Please do this!!

    Hope You Take My Ideas Forward

    Tazzie x

  • With future updates Bing maps, and search needs to be upgraded big time..... These are the apps I use the most.

  • KR
    503 Posts

    @Rodney

    Lol.its done that to me a few times too.

    And its good you brought up the idea of other services which I've talked about before.with wp,microsoft is trying to force people to use their services and provides poor support for alternatives.this wouldn't have been so much of an issue if the Microsoft services were better but it is not always the case example being Bing maps compared to Google maps and navigation.i use to be a heavy user of Google services on my windows mobile device-Omnia 2,and had all the great Google apps outta the box(maps,voice,gmail...) and they worked great.i loved it and I loved my windows mobile device.with windows phone the alternatives are all third party developers and rarely work properly delivering a poor experience.

  • Has anybody noticed that SOMETIMES when traveling down the hywy Bing TBT keeps telling you to exit at every exit? I'm stupid, so the first time it did this I kept getting on and off the highway. Lol!

  • @ Scuba and Kr..

    Lol! I Just wanted to see if you guys liked any of this artists ideas for what WP8 should be! I pretty much like his ideas, except for his rendition of the start screen. It would break my heart for it to be changed so drastically, especially before anyone has a chance to see the current start screen. I think that some people fail to remember that our start screen has a mathematical, and psychological point to it. It's not only good looking... This is the WP start screen for now!

    @KR.... I asked that guy if he liked his Lumia. He said he's had it for 3 days, and he's going to return it for the OneS because he misses his Google apps...

    Lets face it MS. A lot of people like their Google spur. We got to get this stuff mainly because Android came first, and WP came second. I think a lot of people would rather use a WP device, but they need what they like, and use now, to make the switch.

    @ Team WP...We need a Users Voice app forum, and voting system, so we can narrow down the top 100 apps thats keeping people from switching to WP. I don't know,, maybe the top 500, but we need data. Also we need data from just as many Android, and iPhone users, as WP users with this one. Maybe u guys can get the carriers to ask people to take a short survey for a chance to win a L900... Just a thought, but I seriously think you guys should give it a thought.

  • KR
    503 Posts

    Those concepts look great, but I know for sure WP8 wouldn't deliver that.so I set my expectations lower, especially for the UI.

    @scuba,

    I don't tgink Rodney is basing himself on those concepts,he's rather suggesting that, that is the kind of innovation we need something to take on the competition.if you haven't played with the one X and One S,i'll highly recommend you do.htc did it right the only thing I hated about those phones were the android UI.

  • KR
    503 Posts

    @Rodney,

    Just saw a girl rocking a pink Lumia 800

  • @Rodney, surely you're not using that article as your basis for an opinion on WP8.  That's just somebody's IDEAS on what WP8 should look like.  I think it is impossible to speculate at this point.

  • This dude just walked into the doctors office with a shiny white 900 stuck to his ear. I said "thats a cool phone, what kind is it?"" he says "I don't know, I think it's a Nokia Lumia? Or something""... Oh well, you can't have your cake and eat it to... Nevertheless, its always cool to see other users on the street.

  • @ kr..

    Yeah, I did the same. I found some cool things about the One S, and it worked pretty good. The OS was a mess, and I would hate to have to deal with that on a daily basis, but it had some cool features. Since Mango released the smartphone world has made 3 steps, so yes it does scare me to think that WP8 will make only one.... Check this out...

    www.neowin.net/.../a-vision-of-windows-phone-8-and-how-microsoft-could-enhance-the-platform

  • KR
    503 Posts

    BTW

    I took the htc one x and s for a test drive.no matter how much I like windows phone and have always criticise android phones, these two phones really wowed me from design to performance in the things I mostly do.this has really raised my expectations for WP8

  • KR
    503 Posts

    @Rodney

    You starting to sound like me.good you are becoming more realistic.thats what wp needs

  • @ Nathan...

    WP8 Needs To Not Only Catch Up To The Others, It Needs To Impress! I mean impress people other than WP users. I hope we see innovation. Thats what I haven't seen in a long time. There is no reason WP shouldn't offer more than it's competitors,, at some point in the near future.

  • Nathan
    63 Posts

    @Leila, last year (around Feb 2011) I heard somewhere from Windows Phone team member that they would be launching the Phone in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region after the release of Mango which rolled out on Sep 27, 2011. Since then there is no official word from Microsoft about the missing language support. But literally they didn't lied to you guys.. the official word was "after the Mango update" which could be October 2011, 2012 or 2013.. or who knows! Even with 6+ months of partnership with Nokia, they are still unable to deliver it (Nokia being one of the biggest player of East with tons of experience with native languages and all). iPhone and Android are delivering wide-language support as they arrive. No wonder why Microsoft and Nokia are losing market-share worldwide and people losing interest in Windows ecosystem altogether.

    Leila, implementing Arabic or any edition is not "hard". It just shows how interested Microsoft is in going global with Windows Phone and how serious Microsoft is with Windows Phone in business/enterprise paradigm (compared to other products). I believe you have to wait till Windows Phone 8 since there is no official word on update coming before WP8.

    I agree with Rodney about the poor marketing for WP. No real media is capturing and HTC and other vendors' representatives don't love Windows Phone as much as they speak high of Android... The question come to my mind is; what is so different about WP device from gadget POV (compared to iPhone and Android), on basis of which they advertise their product? The non-real-time Xbox games? Nothing "extra" but there are lot of lacks though!

    Like Microsoft, we are hoping for some miracle to happen with Windows 8 and WP8 which will bring lot of out-of-the-box stuff and WOW factors and which in turn will render people to keep using Microsoft products. Even though they were late in the game, they were lousy, they waited for Apple and Android to launch first at every step of the way. Like support for auxiliary features in OS such as; USB, HDMI, built-in FM Transmitter, Wireless charging, Bluetooth printing and sharing etc. Now that the whole industry is ready to manufacture phones for you with all kind of aux stuff, why there is no support in WP OS till date? Perhaps they are waiting for iPhone and Android to launch first. Then why would anyone buy Windows Phone if they will always be one step back and offer the second-hand feature that was already released by Android two years ago. They simply don't trust their abilities. One policy "if Apple didn't provide this we won't". Take an example of copy/paste and cursor support in Phone dialer. iPhone didn't gave it, WP just follow them which is the biggest stupid mistake ever!

  • Thats all true, but I still haven't been convinced that this lack of support, from everybody, for a phone thats so popular, is normal, smart, or acceptable. I love what Nokia is doing, and my next phone will most likely be one, but I don't want that to be because there are no other great choice. I want my choice to be a hard one, not obvious.

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @Rodney,

    While that may be true, remember the original launch devices were...tepid at best.  The Focus was by far and wide the best of those phones.  (I say this having owned a focus and surround.  The surround was coolish, but gimicky, the Focus was better.)

    But after that I feel like samsung dropped the ball.  The Focus S was a nice phone (my wife owns one.) but they didn't really invest much in it. It's impossible to find accessories for, and every case we've owned for it has caused the camera button to stick forcing the screen to stay on.  (We finally fixed this by wedging paper in on either side of the button per someone's instructions at WPcentral.)

    But the phone is already EOL, meaning future accessories will be even harder to find as time goes on.  Broke case, screen protector, too bad.  And the Focus 2 really leaves much to be desired.

    The TL;DR is that Samsung started out great, but then just sorta puttered to the finish line IMHO, leaving Nokia as the best phones out there.

  • @ Leila...

    Dont worry, WP marketing isn't hitting it yet here in America. They're trying, but IMO the resources are being wasted in to many BS areas. TV, and Billboards, thats it! Thats the only place we need advertising. Well, we have to have awareness on the internet also... But as far as support, I can relate with you. The only WP device MS, and at&t care about are Lumias. The 900 came out one week, and got a update the next, all in the midst of me sitting here waiting for a keyboard fix.

    So, don't feel alone. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if the language support you're asking for came soon... Yeah, came for Nokia devices only!

    The original Samsung Focus was the best selling device. This is a sham!

  • Leila
    12 Posts

    Great to see Windows Phone being pervasive and Nokia is brining lot of goodness in the ecosystem.

    But when would you guys bring Arabic, Hebrew and Persian language support in Windows Phone? Its being over 1.5 years now since Ballmer visited Saudi Arabia (around Dec 18, 2010) and said soon we will be releasing Windows Phone in MENA region. Is it too hard to implement these languages in phone after releasing at least 8 versions of Windows OS with them? What are the guys at Microsoft Arabia doing and paying for? No wonder why iPhone and Android are capturing all the smartphone market on mid-east side of the globe...

    Its funny and its hard to explain to someone why I have Windows Phone when there is no awareness of it in the entire region. Nokia being old-Nokia, iPhone says it all, whereas HTC and Samsung is considered as Android phone. No WP whatsoever. At least you guys 'start' playing the ball here! Im sure WP's marketing strategist are still procrastinating on that one; outside-of-the-US thinking !!

    Even the Bing Translator app has offline Arabic language pack now. Last year, tumors were that there would be an update (Tango-II after Tango-I) which would bring a comprehensive language pack (with 120 remaining languages). Is it still on its way? OR would  WP7 never get middle-east languages (and we would have to wait for Windows Phone 8)?

  • T Windows
    116 Posts

    Thanks @Michael

    I agree, after watching Jim's excitement over his first encounter of the Windows Phone, I feel he might be taking a second look soon.

    Who knows hopfully he will convert over to Windows like so many others ...LOL - now that would be some great coverage.

    Thanks again Michael.

    - Stay Powered by Windows

  • @T-Windows: Sorry, should have mentioned that it was an off the cuff comment made while talking about other stuff. But that's what I liked about it.

  • Yeah, we can't stay cool here

    it's just going to get hotter, and hotter, until all the lakes dry up, and nobody's allowed to take a shower....

  • T Windows
    116 Posts

    @Michael

    Thanks for the post – I have to say the first 4 articles are great, the Batman themed Windows Phone –(ROCKS), the flight simulator app – (downloading now), multiple colors for the Nokia – (just awesome), and the indie games for Windows Phone – (too cool).

    - But the final article with Jim Cramer leading to the video link was for me down right depressing :(

    I’m sorry but I was so geared up and ready to hear great praises about the Windows Phone, but instead I listened in pure agony a whole 9 minutes of over-rated apple talk.

    Only after the first 9 minutes of ranting from Jim did we hear the words Windows Phone  – it’s almost like they have never experienced or seen the innovations of the XBOX360 Kinect.

    The very topic of discussion was being able to experience TV without remotes or to be able to talk or speak commands to the TV in amazement.

    To conclude maybe I should look at this another way –of the five news analysts not one mentioned that this technology has already been discovered and packaged by Microsoft; and on an even brighter note the Windows Phone wasn’t scripted as a topic of conversation for this coverage.

    But all in all the Windows Phone & Windows 8 was covered in a pleasant manner by Jim for about 40 seconds of un-scripted airtime.

    Thanks again Michael.

    @Rodney

    -What's up dude, and stay cool in this Texas Heat!

    - Stay Powered by Windows

  • Hey!!!! Me and Ballmer do have something in common. He was class of 1977, and I was born in 77! What do ya know?? Lol!!