Posts with tag windows phone
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.
Through the previously mentioned developer preview program
As mentioned before, Microsoft is opening the gates on Windows Phone to let third party developers and enthusiasts gain access to the next version of Windows Phone before everyone else gets it, similar to how their current Windows beta programs work. The app you need to install to gain access to future versions of Windows Phone has just gone live on the Windows Store and again, you must have a Windows Phone Store developer subscription or a developer unlock on your phone to use it. The app simply changes a few flags and it lets you download and install GDR3 through the regular phone update control panel as seen above.
GDR3 brings along a rotation lock and some multitasking improvements among other things. I’m currently installing GDR3 on my Lumia and will report back any findings if they’re significant enough. One thing to note is that if you do install this on your own phone, you’ll probably void your warranty and there is no downgrade path back to GDR2.
Through the Windows Phone Developer Preview Program
Trying to keep up with more successful mobile platforms, Microsoft has finally relented and for the first time will be letting third-party developers access to pre-release builds of Windows Phone through a new program called the Windows Phone Preview for Developers program.
Getting access to these pre-release builds is very easy. Starting later today, all you have to do to gain access to the pre-release builds is either be a registered Windows Phone developer or have your phone developer unlocked, the latter of which Microsoft is letting people do for free (or they were when I unlocked my phone a while back). One important note is that if you do decide to be adventurous and install these pre-release builds, there is no path back to something stable.
Source: Windows Blog
There's no turning "back" now! ...ha ha.
Lame puns aside, we’ve got more rumors of the things that Windows Phone 8.1 will contain when it hits phones in 2014. Coming from Paul Thurrott, we have a list of a few rumoured things coming to the Windows Phone platform and yes, the Back button being removed is one of those things. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, however; let’s take a look at all the things that Paul is saying. An important thing to note is that he openly admits these things come from one source, so we should all take what we’re about to read with a 26 ounce can of salt.
First up, the Back button is going away in 8.1. The logic behind this one is that users don’t know what the Back button actually does and that they also just go back to the Start screen to open new apps. Admittedly, even though I know what that button does I also just go back to the Start screen to do other things.
Multitasking is also getting some improvements, like the ability to kill apps running in the background. There may also be some notification and performance improvements in 8.1 as it’s a mess right now. The only question is, how can we bring up the task switcher if there’s no Back button at all?
There are also a few changes coming that might spell out Windows Phone replacing Windows RT. We’ve heard the rumours before that some future version of Windows Phone would be able to run Windows Runtime (8/RT Metro-style) apps, and Paul says this is coming in Windows Phone 8.1. Another interesting thing of note is that while Windows Phone 8 GDR3 is bringing support for 5″ and 6″ 1080p displays, 8.1 is bringing support for 7″ and 10″ displays.
Beautifully, unapologetically shameless
If you’re Microsoft and you’ve been seeing extraordinarily limited success with your Windows Phone platform, what do you do? Well, you’re Microsoft, so you spend as much money on advertising as you really need to in order to get the ball rolling. Unfortunately Microsoft appears to have taken a wrong turn with this strategy however, as the company has just published not one, not two, but seven anti-Apple advertisements mocking not only Apple, the iPhone 5s, and the iPhone 5c – but Apple’s design and engineering teams, Jony Ive, as well as the late Steve Jobs.
The new ads are almost so bad that they’re almost unwatchable. One such ad features two members of Apple’s iPhone team try to “sell” the concept behind the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c to characters that are qutie obviously meant to represent Steve Jobs and Jony Ive. At one point, an overzealous iPhone engineer says that they’re going to give their customers “the finger” with the new iPhone before it’s “clarified that he meant a fingerprint reader.
Though the ad mocks Apple and what some see as stagnant innovation with their iPhone lineup in recent years well enough, what it doesn’t do is sell Windows Phone devices in any real way. Instead of talking about the benefits of the Windows Phone platform – the beautifully designed Nokia devices, increasing developer support, a more than “good enough” Windows Phone 8 operating system, the ad merely takes poor potshots at Apple and hopes that the viewer will get the message. And at the end of the day, though it may be funny for Microsoft’s core audience to watch, it won’t sell any new Windows Phones – and that’s just sad.
You can checkout one of the advertisements embedded after the break, if you’re so inclined. Do you think this was the right marketing move for Microsoft? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Microsoft (YouTube)
"Wake up, John"
Cortana, Master Chief’s sassy sidekick in the Halo franchise, isn’t merely a piece of good fiction anymore, it’s real life. Leaked images and information has revealed that Microsoft is working on bringing mobile voice assistant technology, popularized by Apple’s Siri technology and improved on by Google’s Google Now service found on Android, to Windows Phone under the Cortana name.
Cortana is said to work exactly as you’d expect – open up the app on your Windows Phone device, an naturally tell it what you want or are looking for. You’ll be able to set alarms, search the web for information, read notifications and calendar events, etc. and so forth all over a natural voice control.
The service will likely come to Windows Phone users with Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 “Blue” update, which we covered yesterday. So for all you Windows Phone users feeling left out, get ready – Cortana is coming.
Perfect for your cyan Nokia
Good news, Windows Phone lovers – today we’ve been treated to yet another look at Microsoft’s upcoming update to their Windows Phone platform, Windows Phone 8.1 (the artist previously known as “Blue”.) According to these and the previously leaked screenshots, Windows Phone 8.1 appears to be a relatively minor update that focuses mostly on playing catchup with iOS and Android more than anything else.
Getting particular love this upgrade cycle are Notifications. Microsoft has finally realized it’s 2013 and that a mobile platform without a sophisticated way of viewing and managing Notifications is literally inexcusable. The screenshots portray a new “Notifications” tile that, if rumors are to be expected, will open up a Notification center not all that different from either Android or iOS’s implementation – both of which are excellent.
There are a couple more little niceties that have been apparently been added, like multi-tile selection, however on the whole what we’re seeing looks a whole lot like what most Windows Phone users should already be very, very used to.
Because the Nokia Lumia 920 wasn't big enough
The Nokia Lumia 920 usually gets laughed at for being as big and as heavy as a tank, but it must be nothing compared to the Nokia Lumia 1520. Leaked in the form of an official looking press shot today, the Nokia Lumia 1520 is apparently an upcoming
Microsoft Nokia made Windows Phone running the latest version of Windows Phone 8. The photo originates from the trustiest source of smartphone leaks around, @evleaks, so we’re pretty sure that what we’re looking at is nothing but legitimate.
The Nokia Lumia 1520 is expected to have a 1080p 6-inch AMOLED display with Nokia’s ClearView display technology, a Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon processor, and yes – a PureView camera of some sort. It’s not exactly clear what type of camera we’ll be treated to however; recent rumors have suggested that the Lumia 1520 won’t have a 1020 style 40-megapixel shooter, but rather a more disciplined in-between in order to make the Lumia 1520 quite a bit thinner then its 1020 brother.
Now, nothing here’s official, and we have no word on specific availability or pricing just yet – or if plans have at all changed given Nokia’s sale to Microsoft – however we’ll keep you updated on the latest.