Items tagged with Windows Phone

It looks as though Microsoft might have a winner on its hands with the smartphone version of Windows 10. Microsoft officially announced the operating system yesterday, and is bringing a wealth of improvements compared to its predecessor, Windows Phone 8.1. Windows 10 brings a number of new features including a new dictation option, enhanced messaging capabilities, universal apps, a revamped Office suite, new Outlook mail client, and support for Microsoft’s wonderful new Spartan Internet browser. But while the new features are a definite plus for existing Windows Phone users, two of the biggest questions that remain revolve around the topics of availability and compatibility. To the first point,... Read more...
In a perfect world, we all could forget all about Windows 8 and the headaches that it caused for regular consumers all over the world. Microsoft’s heart was in the right place; it sought out to create an operating system that would not only cater to its existing base of desktop and notebook users, but also to the growing tablet market. However, the company missed the mark and ended up with a UI that did more to frustrate than to increase the productivity of users. Microsoft sought to right the ship with tweaks in Windows 8.1, but many consumers had already put on their life preservers at that point. Microsoft has learned from its Windows 8.x mistakes and even skipped right over “9” to further... Read more...
It's common knowledge that Android and iOS dominate the mobile scene (in that order), in terms of market share. And the cold reality for Microsoft is that its Windows Phone platform is found on only about three out of every 100 smartphones. With that in mind, it's understandable (albeit disappointing) that Chase has decided to yank its mobile banking app from the Windows Phone Store.So, if you're a Windows Phone user and Chase customer, be advised that the Chase mobile app for Windows Phone will no longer be available to download and install on January 26, 2015. Should you already have the app (or plan to get it), you can continue to use it, though only for the next couple of months."We are focusing... Read more...
In case it hasn't been said enough, Windows 10 is going to be a massive release for Microsoft. It's not just that the company will have to try to make the world forget about Windows 8, it's also about making the entire product line feel congruent -- Windows on a tablet will feel familiar to Windows on the desktop, or even the Xbox One. It's not Microsoft itself that's doing most of the hyping with Windows 10, but rather the press. In fact, the company is enjoying some of the same hype that tends to follow Apple around. Back in November, we learned that an event for the OS would be held in January, and in December, we had a hard date -... Read more...
Samsung is reportedly considering a move to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, at least for its lower cost handsets. Part of the reason Samsung might make the switch from Android to Windows Phone in the entry-level space is because it determined that Windows Phone 8.1 is a stable platform, a determination it came to after running a pilot program. However, there are some bigger motivating factors at play. If you recall, Samsung has been in the headlines lately because of a restructuring effort prompted by disappointing sales figures attributed to its flagship Galaxy S5 device. After unexpectedly being left with excess Galaxy S5 inventory, Samsung decided... Read more...
Windows Phone has captured roughly 2.5 percent of the global smartphone market, and its fortunes don’t exactly look promising in the face of cutthroat competition from the likes of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. Considering that Microsoft has a darling property in its portfolio like Office, one would expect that the folks in Redmond would devote its time and resources to ensuring that the productivity suite shined the brightest on Windows Phone. However, as we’ve seen in the past few months, Microsoft has devoted the majority of its resources into making Office look and function better on iOS and Android while Windows Phone users have been left shaking their heads. You can’t exactly blame... Read more...
Everyone loves to pick on Apple for saddling its smartphones with only 1GB of RAM (even the flagship iPhone 6 Plus is limited to just 1GB when most Android flagships are packing three times a much memory). However, Microsoft just reminded us of that its most popular smartphones are running on a mere 512MB of RAM (or less). In a blog posting last week, Microsoft provided some insight into the latest trends for the Windows Phone platform though November 2014. Some of the numbers weren’t very surprising at all. Windows Phone 8.1 now accounts for 65 percent of all traffic through the Windows Phone store, while legacy devices running Windows Phone 7.x make up than less than 5 percent of traffic. But... Read more...
If slow and steady wins the race, then Microsoft might be onto something with its Windows Phone platform. It's been slowly and steadily gaining market share and IDC figures that by 2018, it will hold 5.6 percent of the global smartphone market. That doesn't sound like much, and it isn't, though it could certainly make things interesting between Windows Phone and iOS, depending on where Microsoft's added share comes from. While iOS is in second place, it's a distance second at just 13.8 percent, compared to Android's massive 82.3 percent share of the market. To the point, it's a much closer race between iOS and Windows Phone than it is between Android and iOS. Time will tell how it all shakes... Read more...
As part of a massive holiday giveaway promotion, Microsoft is offering over 100 MP3 albums through its Music Deals app for free to everyone. That is, everyone who uses Windows 8 or owns a Windows Phone.The promotion is available for a limited time but it is worth taking advantage of. Country, Rock and Roll, Rap, and Pop music are just some of the genres available in the collection Microsoft is offering. Among the free albums are ones from artists such as Eminem, The Rolling Stones, Linkin Park, Mumford & Sons, Lana Del Ray, U2, Stone Temple Pilots, Faith Hill, The Who, Bon Jovi, The Doobie Brothers, Katy Perry, and many more.In order to bolster your music collection, not only will you need... Read more...
It seems like we can't go a single month without seeing a major change happen at Microsoft that wouldn't have likely happened had the company still been under the rule of Steve Ballmer. Today, another such change is tossed on the pile, and it's a great one for anyone using a Windows Phone 8 device. When Windows Phone 8 dropped, it left a lot of WP users in the dark - they simply had no hope of updating their phone to Redmond's latest and greatest. Considering the fact that Microsoft's a follower in the smartphone market, you'd think that it'd try very hard to cater to its pre-existing customers, but in this particular case, it hadn't. Now, we can see that the company has likely learned its lesson,... Read more...
Microsoft has been updating and improving on Cortana, its personal assistant for the Windows Phone and a popular character from the Halo franchise, since it was rolled out. Microsoft’s response to Apple’s personal assistant Siri has continued to improve and expand with Bing integration and Cortana being brought to Nokia phones. Now, Microsoft is giving its personal assistant the ability to speak Klingon and use pictures. Windows Phone users who ask Cortana questions about Halo, where it is an artificial intelligence that helps the franchise’s protagonist Master Chief, or other topics will receive a response and now a picture. For example, if you ask Cortana about Halo, it will... Read more...
As of today, the Spotify app for Windows Phone offers free music streaming. Android and iOS users have been enjoying free music from the streaming service for months, but Windows Phone users have been impatiently waiting – first for a Spotify app, and then for a Spotify app that included the service’s popular free music feature. The wait's over for free Spotify streaming on Windows Phone. Spotify is a “freemium” service, meaning that that it has free component and offers extra features for a premium. The free music streaming is a popular features and the reviews on the Windows Phone store are a testament to how disappointed Windows Phone users were to download the app... Read more...
A weakness has been identified that could exist in Android, Windows, and iOS devices that can be used to obtain personal information. Discovered by a team of researchers, the vulnerability revolves around multiple applications running on a shared infrastructure that can be exploited. According to their research, they were able to test a method, on an Android phone, that was successful between 82 percent and 92 percent of the time for six of the seven apps that were tested. The apps with such high percentages were Gmail (92 percent), H&R Block (92 percent), Newegg (86 percent), WebMD (85 percent), CHASE Bank (83 percent), and Hotels.com (83 percent). The final app tested belonged to Amazon,... Read more...
If you’re a loyal Windows Phone user who’s been ogling the Android version of the HTC One M8, your time has come. HTC released the smartphone with Windows Phone 8.1 through Verizon and AT&T is readying a model for its customers.  The HTC One M8 has a sleek metal unibody and solid performance, which snagged it an Editor’s Choice award in our recent review. Obviously, we loved the phone with Android, but we’re pleased to see it available with Windows Phone, too. The more, the merrier. HTC One M8 with Windows Phone for Verizon The HTC One M8 has been getting lots of love for its HTC One Duo Camera. The camera’s low megapixel count doesn’t prevent it from... Read more...
Microsoft may want to dominate the mobile market, or at least become a competitive force, but the latest market share figures underscore just what a daunting task the Redmond outfit faces. In fact, Windows Phone is moving in the wrong direction -- though worldwide smartphone shipments topped the 300 million mark for the first time in history, Windows Phone volumes declined from a year ago. On the bright side, Windows Phone volume crawled forward compared to the previous quarter and is now the "clear number 3 smartphone platform" behind Android and iOS, but we're still only talking about a miserable 2.5 percent share of the market versus a 3.4 percent stake in the same quarter a year ago, according... Read more...
Microsoft took the veil off of Windows Phone 8.1 Update last week, and while it's not a "major" update by any stretch, it's certainly one worth looking forward to if you are a WP user. It's also one that could prove very useful to those in the UK, China, Canada, India, and Australia, as it's the update that introduces Cortana to phones in those countries. As discussed last week, 8.1 Update brings a number of notable features, including the long overdue ability to organize apps with folders. Another useful addition for business is "Apps Corner", which lets you choose which apps can be run on a device, with the added perk of configuring the phone to boot into a certain app each time it's turned... Read more...
When Microsoft released a beta for its Cortana personal assistant this past spring, it came with a major caveat: Only US users could partake. With its just-released Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, however, the company is now offering use of the feature to those in the UK and China as a beta like the US release, and as an alpha in Canada, India, and Australia. Microsoft notes that while Cortana is going to be the same as we've seen her up to this point in most of these betas, the Chinese release is a bit special. Here, Cortana has an entirely different form (seen below), and in addition, there are new animations and sounds. As you'd expect, this version supports Mandarin speech - voice recognition,... Read more...
Mobile phones reveal more about ourselves than perhaps we'd like to admit. Evidence of that can be found in the way we use our phones -- people have been known to walk into traffic and, in once incident, right off a pier and into the ocean while texting. But it's the selfie craze that lets the world know we're all a bunch of narcissists at heart. In an attempt to capitalize on that, Microsoft is planning to launch a selfie phone in the near future. According to The Verge, Microsoft devices CEO Stephen Elop recently showed off a couple of upcoming handsets during an internal company meeting. One of those was the selfie phone, previously known by its codename Superman, which sports a 5-megapixel... Read more...
Statistically speaking, there aren't a whole lot of smartphone owners rocking Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, at least compared to Android and iOS, the two of which collectively account for around nine out of 10 handsets. Presuming a fear of the unknown is preventing some users from hopping on the Windows Phone train, Microsoft has posted an online tutorial of its mobile platform so you can essentially try before you buy. The timing of Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 tutorial comes as the company enters a restructuring mode that will see 18,000 layoffs, including around 12,500 pink slips in its Nokia devices and services division that it recently acquired. Microsoft is realigning its focus,... Read more...
If you want to beat the Las Vegas odds makers, you might want to look at the available software at your disposable. To wit, EA's Madden NFL franchise has correctly predicted the winner of the Super Bowl in 8 of the last 11 tries (but got it wrong this last time around), and Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant for Windows Phone 8.1 devices correctly pegged Germany to win the 2014 World Cup. That alone is somewhat impressive, but even more so is that Cortana was on a 14-game win streak before the digital assistant incorrectly blemished its once-perfect record by picking Brazil to beat the Netherlands. Instead, the Netherlands emerged victorious by snuffing out Brazil 3-0. We're sure Cortana would... Read more...
Windows Phone is improving all the time. Sure, there's a huge discrepancy in market share between Windows Phone and either iOS or Android, but Microsoft isn't standing idly by. Just the opposite, Microsoft just released its Files app for Windows Phone 8.1, which introduces a file management system to the mobile OS. Files is free to download from the Windows Store. With it, you can access files stored on your phone and SD card; browse, search, and launch files; easily share one file or multiple files; create folders to organize your files; and copy, move, rename, and delete files. Windows Phone users seem to like the app so far -- it has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating so far based on 2,138 reviews.... Read more...
Winds of change are surely blowing now that Satya Nadella has taken over the CEO role at Microsoft. During the company's BUILD conference this week, blockbuster news was announced regarding the pricing future of its most notable product: Windows. Going forward, Microsoft will make Windows free for phones and tablets, likely in a bid to better compete with Android and iOS. Both of those operating systems have monumental slices of market share in the mobile space, which Microsoft is seeking to infiltrate now that sales of laptops and desktops are sliding downward. Up until now, Microsoft was charging device makers around $5 to $15 per device to use Windows, while Google has always allowed Android... Read more...
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