Posts with tag windows phone
Looks to make Windows more attractive
In one of the most unexpected pieces of news since forever, we’re hearing confirmation today that Microsoft will be participating in an effort to release dual-boot Android/windows Phone hybrid devices starting this calendar year. The root of this confirmation comes from Karbonn, an Indian-based smartphone manufacturer, Chairman Sudhir Hasija, who claims that his company has been in discussion with Microsoft about the project for some time now and that dual-boot smartphones will be coming within the next six months.
But before that will start, Karbonn will begin selling their first line of Windows Phone-exclusive smartphones by June. These phones should ship with Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box and will be the result of an effort by Microsoft to, as Hasija has said, ease “regulations and… open[ing] up its platform for other players.”
Microsoft has seen only limited success with its Windows Phone platform, capturing less than 5% of the smartphone market. This comes in stark contrast to the overall success of the Windows Mobile line prior to the unveiling of the iPhone in 2007, a product that largely dominated the marketplace in its time.
It's almost time
It’s been a while since we’ve heard nary a word regarding Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s smartphone business, but today we’re hearing an update on how that’s are going at last. According to Nokia, the company hopes to have e division sold off to Microsoft and the deal finalized by the end of March at the absolute latest.
Nokia has provided a full statement today regarding the news:
Nokia would like to stress that recent developments in India related to ongoing tax proceedings are not expected to affect the timing of the closing nor the material deal terms of the anticipated transaction between Nokia and Microsoft, announced on September 3, 2013.
The transaction is still expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, irrespective of the proceedings in the Indian tax case.
Nokia has just recently announced the Nokia Lumia Icon flagship smartphone for Verizon, bringing a high end Windows Phone smartphone to America’s largest cellular network.
The merger has begun
Microsoft has been largely silent regarding their upcoming Windows Phone update, originally dubbed “Windows Phone Blue” – now predictably called Windows Phone 8.1 – but their silence has been broken, if not by choice. Major new leaks coming from a variety of sources have not only confirmed that Windows Phone 8.1 is real and coming, but has also revealed a partial feature set, a plethora of new screenshots, updated applications, and – perhaps most notably – a sign that Microsoft is actively going ahead with their long rumored plans to merge Windows Phone and Windows RT.
Read more to find out what Microsoft has in store for the future of Windows Phone.
Two birds, one stone
Two stones, one stone – that’s the entire premise of this Xbox Music pass deal. For a limited time, if you buy a $99 one-year subscription for Xbox Music in the Microsoft Store, Microsoft’s willing to throw in a Nokia Lumia 520, totally free of charge. While the Nokia Lumia 520 is a fine, if slightly lackluster smartphone on its own, you might be swayed by the low, low price tag of “free” if you were already in the market for a low end smartphone.
Otherwise? Xbox Music is decent, if slightly underrated, and the Nokia Lumia 520 is undoubtably a low end smartphone meant to appeal to only the most basic of would-be smartphone customers. But if you’re interested, head on over to the Microsoft Store and have at it.
Closed for business
Nokia is saying goodbye to both Symbian and MeeGo today as the company’s new policy banning application and update submissions to the Nokia Store went into effect yesterday. What does this mean exactly? Well, not a whole lot for a whole lot of people – but if you’re one of the few, one of the proud, and one of the brave who still enjoys a Symbian or MeeGo device, it means that you’ll receive no new applications or updates for your smartphone on Nokia’s official Nokia Store.
The company of course made this decision to better focus on their Windows Phone and Asha efforts, however we wouldn’t be surprised to see the end of Asha before long if this Microsoft/Nokia deal ends up going through (which it very much looks like it will be). Good game, Symbian – you had a good run.
Let's wait for //BUILD/ 2014
From within the halls of Redmond come a couple of Windows Phone 8.1 rumours that we’ve heard of before: the notification center and the Siri-like assistant, codenamed “Cortana” after the assistant in Halo. Microsoft is currently testing Windows Phone 8.1 privately and it sounds as if these features have been integrated into Windows Phone and not just test apps as we’ve seen earlier.
The new notification center will be implemented similar to how it is on Android or iOS – that is, you make a long swipe in from the top of the screen to access it. A short swipe off the top of the screen will trigger a quick settings panel which presumably lets one toggle settings such as screen rotation, airplane mode, volume settings, etc.
Cortana is set to replace the existing Bing Search and can be interacted with speech or text. Acting similarly to Google Now or Siri, it will learn from the things you do with your phone to help better get the information you want, and will also feature conversation interaction which begs the question: What will Cortana say if you ask about the best place to hide a body? Silliness aside, Cortana will also remind you about upcoming appointments ala Google Now.
Other changes coming in Windows Phone 8.1 include multiple volume profiles and Bing Smart Search to bring Windows 8.1-style search to the phone. Enterprise people are also in luck as the update finally brings VPN support. There’s also a bit of separation going on, as the Music+Videos hub will be splitting into two separate apps named — you guessed it — Xbox Music and Xbox Video. The People hub is also getting some extensions with deeper Twitter and Facebook integration.
Microsoft is believed to be talking about Windows Phone 8.1 come //BUILD/ 2014. Will we see a Windows Phone 8.1 release through the Preview for Developers program? We will see in the coming months.
Source: The Verge
The prodigal child arrives
Finally. I think that this is one of the few times in the tech sphere we can say the word with an entirely straight face, because it’s true – finally, at long last, Windows Phone users twill get to experience the photo sharing social network “masterpiece” (well, depending on who you ask) that is… Instagram. Its absence the posterchild for the lacking Windows Phone app ecosystem, the launch of Instagram for Windows Phone culminates an almost three year long wait.
Instagram for Windows Phone is said to include support for everything you’d come to expect from the iOS and Android versions of the app – the same filters, the same hashtag searching functionality, the same social stream, social network sharing – it’s all there… except for one big omission. Unfortunately, Instagram for Windows Phone is launching without video support today, so you won’t be able to record video of the way the clouds move this morning and slap that filter on there. The time for that cloud video is approaching, however, as the Instagram team is promising that a future update will restore video functionality.
So, Windows Phone users – how excited are you? Instagram. It’s a big name. It’s a big app. And it’s finally hitting your smartphone. Excited?
Edit 11/20/2013 @ 1:14 PM EST: Unfortunately, there does appear to be one rather… glaring admission that hasn’t been getting much press; you won’t be able to take a photo from within Instagram, you’ll need to head over to your phone’s camera app, snap it there, and then import that from Instagram to get the job done. Not a deal breaker, but certainly not ideal.
Source: The Verge
We just need Instagram now
Although some companies want to see it fail, Windows Phone is certainly moving up in the market with big name apps from iOS and Android moving over to the niche platform. The latest of those is Vine, Twitter’s 6-second video creation tool.
While apps such as 6sec have been available on the platform for some time now, Twitter is throwing their hat in with Vine, which looks similar to the app as seen on iOS and Android. According to the Vine Blog, the app will let you pin your followers right to your home screen, something that Windows Phone is famous for promoting, and also features integration with lenses according to The Verge.
The app is not yet available in the Windows Phone Marketplace but it is coming today.
Update, 12:20 PM Central: Vine for Windows Phone is now in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
From the Microsoft Store
The Lumia 1520 is going to set you back $200 down on a two-year contract if you buy it through either Microsoft’s Store or through AT&T. Buying through Microsoft lets you get it off-contract if that’s your thing, in which case it costs $549. You can get it in black, white or red with the yellow option seemingly yet another AT&T exclusive.
You’ll also get some extra goodies if you pre-order: Microsoft will give you $70 worth of app vouchers and a copy of Halo: Spartan Assault and AT&T will give you $20 of app vouchers, 50GB of cloud storage and that same copy of Halo. People who pre-order also get a free cover with their Lumia.
Windows Phone 8 devices have thus far been pretty conservatively sized, but that stereotype is going out the window this morning as Nokia has officially announced the Nokia Lumia 1520, a 6-inch beheamoth with a 1080p display running Windows Phone 8 GDR3, Microsoft’s latest and greatest version of their mobile operating system and the precursor to their much larger, more impressive Windows Phone 8.1 platform.
The Lumia 1520 stylistically doesn’t do that great of a job differentiating itself from its older brothers stylistically speaking – you would be hard pressed to pick one out of a lineup next to the company’s older Lumias, sans its larger screen. It comes in the usual array of colorful bodies, has a weight of 7.37 ounces, runs (ironically) on the same quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC as the Nokia Lumia 2520 Windows RT tablet, which was also just announced today, and - perhaps disappointedly – comes with a 20 megapixel PureView camera, significantly lower than that found on the lesser Nokia Lumia 1020 that launched earlier this year.
Nokia has yet to confirm pricing or availability, but we’d imagine we’ll be seeing this bad boy show up stateside on at AT&T at the very least sooner rather than later. Expect it to compete heavily against the Android powered Samsung Galaxy Note III, including on the pricing category - $299 would not be an unreasonable (if not slightly high) estimate.
Source: The Verge
Yeah, it's nice
We’ve seen Windows Phone 8 GDR3 already through low-res pictures or highly JPEG compressed pictures. Since Microsoft is letting third parties in on GDR3, here’s a proper first look at what’s coming to the table. One thing to note is that this is an incomplete first look. The Lumia 1520 with its 1080p screen isn’t out yet, so I can’t judge how well the new three-column Start Screen works and there are no Windows Phones out there with Qualcomm’s quad-core CPU at this time so I can’t judge performance. Not even Nokia’s Bittersweet Shimmer update is out yet so I can’t even take a look at that. What I can look at is what’s been given to me from the halls of Redmond. So let’s get started after the break.