Has AT&T Enabled Visual Voicemail for non-LTE Windows Phones?


This afternoon, I noticed that my Nokia Lumia 800 prompted me for a voicemail password out of nowhere. Thinking that there was some connectivity glitch, I entered the password and guess what, it took me to a visual voicemail screen! I have not seen that screen on my Lumia before, and as I was made to understand, Visual Voicemail for Windows Phone was only available if you added a 4G LTE plan with AT&T.

AT&T Lumia 800 Visual Voice Mail Checking

Before everyone gets excited, I should provide a few disclaimers: I am on my company’s corporate plan, so I don’t know what plan I am on. However, knowing that my plan is actually an “iPhone data” plan, I know it could not be a 4G LTE plan, since there is no such plan. The other thing is that the screen stays at “syncing voicemail” and does not actually show me my voicemails. At some point this afternoon, I did get a message that it was not able to connect and that I could call the traditional voicemail. I restarted the phone to see if this disappeared, and it has not, so I suppose this functionality may actually be rolling out slowly. I sure hope so.

AT&T Lumia 800 Visual Voicemail Settings

Could this be another move by Nokia (and AT&T) to further the Windows Phone cause? We have seen that Nokia has been able to get a few exclusives and are making quite a splash in bringing the Windows Phone platform on par with iOS and Android. Could this be another move in that plan?

Lumia 800 About Screen

I am unable to confirm if this is true with other non-Lumia or non-LTE devices. If anyone has a Windows Phone (Lumia or otherwise) and is with AT&T but *not* on a 4G LTE plan, let me know. Let’s hope things are changing at AT&T with regard to their love of Windows Phone.

Update: I never saw it on my AT&T Samsung Focus, but here’s a response I saw on twitter:



More, from twitter:

Tweets Published From Windows Phone Now Say ‘via Microsoft’

It seems like Microsoft are already working to dissolve the Windows Live branding in even the littlest details: Moving forward, when tweeting from your Windows Phone, the client used will display as “via Microsoft” instead of “via WindowsLive” as it had in the past. Now, on the basis of the lack of spacing between “Windows” and “Live”, this is already a welcome change. However, in the process of eliminating the Windows Live branding from here, they have proceeded to choose yet another inappropriate label.

I mean what, are they going to phase out the @live.com email address in favor of @microsoft.com email addresses now? When I stumbled upon this in my Twitter stream yesterday, I initially thought that this was some sort of secret ‘Softie client, or some internal beta client that they were using. But nope; as Metro Powered pointed out, they simply changed the client name. I think that ‘via Windows Phone’ would make far more sense here.

This is downright confusing. However, it will give Windows Phone owners the fuzzy, warm illusion that they are actually tweeting from Microsoft’s Redmond mothership.

ZTE Hopes To Introduce Windows Phone Devices To The US By The End Of 2012

ZTE has once again stated that it plans to introduce a Windows Phone device to the United States market, saying that they plan to do so by the end of the year. It’s a fairly tough quest, however, as not only is Windows Phone an underdog platform that’s working hard to get ahead, but ZTE itself is a very unknown brand in the United States (as of now, ZTE handsets largely run the Android operating system, and are sold in the U.K. and China.). They’d have to escape the shadow that is casted over them by HTC, Samsung, and Nokia, all within what is already a considerably niche OS.

Nevertheless, they do want to do it, especially now that the Windows Phone platform is more accommodating of their goals. See, ZTE wished to make low-cost, inexpensive phones, and before Tango, Microsoft’s minimum required hardware specifications only for the most part allowed pricy, high-end devices to exist. But now of course, things have changed. ZTE has already developed a low-cost device for emerging markets called the Orbit.

Given the late 2012 projected release date of their Windows Phone device, it should be interesting to see whether it will be based on Windows Phone 7.5, or the major Apollo update which is set to be available by then. Also, will it be well-endowed on a hardware and functionality level with NFC support, and other Apollo bells and whistles? We’ll see, but that would be nice. It would be unfortunate if they’re trying to sell outdated (and low-end, for that matter) hardware during a time when such a major update to the OS is coming. We also still don’t know about what the hardware requirements will be for a lower-end Apollo device.

We’ll see, but I think that their biggest challenge is building a brand in a place where they’re practically unheard of.

Lumia Still Selling Out As Nokia Locks Eyes With Verizon

It appears that sales of the Nokia Lumia are continuing to be rather strong, with sales of the device “outpacing” supply, according to Nokia U.S. President Chris Weber.

Demand has been outstripping supply for the first couple of weeks, and we’ve been working hard to rectify that,” he said. “The demand for cyan [phones] is significantly outpacing supply. When you give people something different from a design perspective—colors, etc. —it really stands out, and consumers want that.”

Like you may expect on an episode of Undercover Boss, Weber has personally visited many AT&T stores over the past few weekends to monitor how the salespeople take to and promote the Lumia. The verdict? Support has been generally “very good”, but it’s overall still a “work in progress”, he said. Whatever the case, the Lumia does seem to be selling out quite rapidly at many AT&T stores; my Twitter timeline can attest to this, with people all over the country saying that their local store was either running low on or completely out of the Lumia.

“Selling out” is definitely a refreshingly new thing to hear with the Windows Phone, platform, however. But despite these not-too-shabby sales — Lumia sales topped 2 million in the first quarter of this year — the launch wasn’t without problem. A data connectivity bug plagued the device initially, resulting in Nokia/AT&T offering a $100 credit to those who purchased defective devices. This in turn prompted Nokia’s share price to hit a 16-year low, unfortunately. Some other quirks seem to also effect the device, such as a purple tint on the screen (as Mr. Rafael Rivera has encountered with two Lumias already.)

It’s also far too early to deem the platform a complete success; Windows Phone still has ways to go before it can catch up to iOS and Android in the marketshare leaderboard. And to help the platform grow and find its way into the hands of more users, Weber commented saying that the company is working hard to join forces with the CDMA carrier:

“We’re not making any announcements, but we understand the importance of Verizon and we’re working hard to make that a reality.”

Verizon did recently admit that it too had a crush on Windows Phone during an earning’s call late last month. Hopefully the two can proceed to copulate and put more Windows Phones in the hands of consumers

Microsoft Reveals Smoked by Windows Phone Statistics

When the Smoked by Windows Phone ad campaign kicked off at CES in Vegas earlier this year, it was  a rather well-received and fun contest — our own Parth Dhebar has firsthand experience with this — and thus, it continued. Ben Rudolph, the face of the challenge, went on a quick tour and visited Microsoft stores to conduct the challenge. Microsoft launched a digital ad campaign to show off the victories of the platform, and they even had stores conduct the challenge on their own (which led to quite a fair bit of controversy after a participant claimed that he was wrongfully denied victory.)

But, putting aside the debate of whether the campaign had a positive or negative impact on the brand as a whole, it does seem to have been successful at getting the word out. Microsoft released some interesting statistics of the ad campaign on Tuesday:

8,000,000+ — The total number of views of Smoked by Windows Phone videos since it kicked off in January.

2 — YouTube top 5 most viewed lists in which Smoked videos appeared.

95% — Percentage of viewers who liked Smoked videos on YouTube.

36 — The number of countries running Smoked by Windows Phone.

50,000+ — This represents the number of smartphones that have been Smoked by Windows Phone since CES.

98% — Windows Phone’s global win percentage. This includes everything from CES through today.

100,000,000+ — The estimated number of people who’ve seen, participated in, or read about Smoked by Windows Phone worldwide.

Along with the stats, the team also released a whole playlist’s worth of new Smoked-based ads. This has definitely been an interesting campaign, and it will be interesting to see where Microsoft goes from here with it.

Nokia Provides More Evidence of Being the “real” Windows Phone Maker

Nokia Lumia 900

On May 8, at the CTIA Wireless 2012 show in New Orleans, Nokia announced that they are partnering with a bunch of top-tier brands to bring their various apps and games to Windows Phone, with a lot of those apps and games being exclusive to Nokia’s Lumia line of Windows Phones.

Some of the highlights from their press release:

PGA Tour (exclusive to Lumia for 12 months)

In addition to live tournament scoring, highlights and player information, the app provides interactive, augmented coverage of select events and holes, showing each player’s exact position and scoring information. This allows fans to “get inside the ropes” and follow all players competing on the PGA TOUR.

ESPN (exclusive to Lumia until May 2013)

This app already exists on the Lumia devices, and is in addition to the ESPN ScoreCenter app that is available to all Windows Phones. The Lumia app will see some functionality updates and in addition, the ESPN Fantasy Football app (another Lumia exclusive) will be made available later in the Fall to align with the NFL season.


After a back-and-forth on whether they are going to build Angry Birds Space for Windows Phone or not, Rovio is now building a dedicated design and development team to create games for Lumia and other Windows Phone devices. That’s quite a scoop for Nokia from the rather negative start that the game maker had with Microsoft and Windows Phone.

Nokia and Rovio will partner to develop innovative new consumer products and content exclusively for Nokia Lumia smartphones, alongside cross platform multi-channel integrated marketing initiatives.


EA will be bringing some of their most popular titles to Lumia and other Windows Phones, including FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA Jam, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR®, Mirror’s Edge and Yahtzee to add to the several titles they already have in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Groupon (exclusive to Lumia for 6 months)

There is already an official Groupon app which is going to get some major updates, including a cool and innovative augmented reality feature to find deals near you.

Tripdots (exclusive to Lumia for 3 months)

Tripdots helps vehicle owners optimize their driving behaviors while connecting with other vehicle owners and sharing driving efficiency achievements via social networks. The app lets users monitor the operation of their vehicles to enable cost savings through better understanding fuel economy.


Yet another “key” app missing in the Windows Phone ecosystem is for the popular PayPal service. PayPal is going to work with Nokia to not only bring their app to Windows Phone, but also use functionality like Live Tiles to enhance the user experience.

AOL Entertainment Hub (exclusive to Lumia for 3 months)

Whether you want to listen to one of 55,000 radio stations via SHOUTcast, stream free music albums with AOL’s Listening Party or view Trailers and Movie listings, the AOL Entertainment Hub delivers everything you need.

Yet another app where Live Tiles are going to be used to enhance the user experience:

“The live tiles on Nokia Lumia helped us create an awesome app that makes it easy to stay in the know on what’s happening in Film, TV, Radio, Concerts and Music right from your home screen,” said Sol Lipman, Director of Mobile First products at AOL.

TIME magazine

Utilizing the stunning Windows Phone UI, the app will enable users to view TIME.com content, receive breaking news alerts, watch rich media content including video and share stories via the Windows Phone People Hub, while delivering the latest news and stories to users first via Live Tiles.

Newsweek – The Daily Beast

The Daily Beast app delivers the latest content through Live Tiles and combines the unique style of The Daily Beast with the Windows Phone UI to deliver a stunning experience. For users who only have minutes to digest the latest news, the app also delivers The Cheat Sheet – your one stop must have reads from across the world – uniquely designed for Windows Phone.

Box app for Windows Phone

Box, another oft-requested app, will finally come to Windows Phone with support for nine languages.


Exclusive Augmented Reality Groupon App Coming to Lumia Windows Phones

At the CTIA 2012 conference, Nokia announced a list of partnerships and apps that will be coming to the Windows Phone platform in the coming months. Some of these apps will be exclusive to Nokia’s Lumia series of Windows Phone handsets. In the list, the Nokia says a Groupon app with augmented reality features will be made available exclusively to Lumia owners. According to Nokia, the updated Groupon App will be exclusive for a period of 6 months after launch (expected to come in Summer 2012). The app will feature a Deal-finder function that will support augmented reality capabilities.

This will be the second augmented reality on Nokia’s Lumia. At the same conference, Nokia showed Nokia City Lens on Windows Phone. The app lets you see locations around you as you move the camera around. The app features a camera view, map view and list view. The app is currently in a beta and comes from Nokia Beta Labs. Here’s a video created by Nokia demo-ing the Nokia City Lens:

Nokia Extends Partnership With Carl-Zeiss

Nokia announced on Wednesday that it has extended its partnership with infamous optical instrument company Carl Zeiss to continue producing quality cameras in future Nokia devices. Carl Zeiss technology can already be found in the Nokia N9 and 808 PureView smartphones, along with the Lumia collection of Windows Phone devices.

“Carl Zeiss was a crucial partner in the creation of the first PureView experience,” said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices. “The benefits of our ongoing collaboration will be more PureView innovation and further advancements in smartphone imaging in the coming months and years.”

Now, not to go too offtopic here, but Carl Zeiss — the person who founded the company — was born in 1816. I find this fact to be fascinating; he was born when the world was hardly industrialized, and now, nearly 200 years later, his company continues to remain relevant in an era of consumer electronics. Carl Zeiss AG — the company — was itself founded in 1846.

The company also offered a comment on the continued partnership with Nokia:

“When joining forces with Nokia in 2005, we wanted to push the boundaries of mobile photography. Looking back at seven years of successful partnership, we are proud of the innovations and outstanding products created in this shared journey. Today we are celebrating the extension of our collaboration with a new technology that sets another real benchmark in this sector.”

Windows Phone Web Marketplace Launches in 22 More Countries

Not too long ago — on the heels of the Mobile World Congress, where Microsoft debuted Tango and lower-end emerging market devices — Microsoft greatly increased the availability of the Windows Phone Marketplace to quite a fair amount of additional countries along with their launch of the platform in those very emerging markets.

And now, Microsoft has expanded the global availability of the Windows Phone Web Marketplace to closely match that of the Marketplace. As of yesterday afternoon, the Web Marketplace is available in Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Israel, Thailand, and Vietnam.

It’s nice to see Microsoft working hard to bring the complete Windows Phone experience to more and more parts of the world. On top of this, Microsoft also announced plans to improve the overall Marketplace experience by reviewing keywords used to tag apps and removing irrelevant ones in order to make it easier to find what you’re looking for when searching for an app.

Microsoft Will Host A Windows Phone Developer Summit In San Francisco

As Steve Ballmer has succinctly expressed on stage, Microsoft is a company that’s big on its developers. While Windows Phone is certainly doing reasonably well at getting people to create apps for the platform — at least on a quantity level — Microsoft still has to work towards bringing over even more quality, popular developers and apps to the platform in order to better sway people from purchasing iOS and Android devices. With key applications such as Instagram still not on the platform, people may be less eager to give it a shot.

That being said, they are actively working to solve this problem, and, to help spread the word about why developers should jump on the Windows Phone bandwagon, they will be hosting a special developer summit in San Francisco, on June 20th-21st. It’s a pretty interesting location choice; it appears that Microsoft is trying to reach out to the Silicon Valley crowd, which is a pretty awesome thing.

If Microsoft could get more and more quality app developers on board to the platform — in terms of both existing apps that can be ported and new apps that are being developed with great potential — then I think that this huge app issue that many consumers surely face will be solved. June is definitely cropping up to be a busy month for developers; on top of the Windows Phone Developer Summit, Apple’s WWDC and the Google I/O events are also going to be happening.