Items tagged with Windows Phone

We've been using (and reviewing) Windows Phone devices for years now, and while market share numbers still favor iOS and Android, it's obvious that Microsoft isn't going to give up on the race. The company has been building Windows Phone into a full-fledged mobile OS, and today it stands as a formidable competitor. That said, it still has a few kinks to iron out, one of which is being addressed this week. Those searching for apps in the Windows Phone Store probably found all sorts of third-party junk that was engineered specifically to trick people into downloading it. Microsoft had previously done little to stop rampant copying of logos and duping of apps, thereby enabling these pranksters to... Read more...
Windows Phone 8.1 is shaping up to be one of the best - if not the best - WP releases ever, and for the sake of shaking things up in the mobile market, I hope that proves to be the case. A couple of weeks ago, we learned that 8.1 would be introducing an "Action Center", in effect, a notifications system overhaul. For Windows Phone users, this addition seems to be one that can't get here soon enough, so already we're off to a great start. Now, we learn that the keyboard is also set to be enhanced, with the addition of Swype-like functionality. For those who haven't used Swype, or a competitor, it offers an alternative to tapping on each letter to spell out a word. Instead, you simply tap the first... Read more...
Hot on the heels of an earlier report by Nielsen that around two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) announced today that the smartphone market as a whole reached another milestone in 2013 by surpassing the 1 billion shipments mark for the first time. IDC says Android and iOS are largely to thank, and especially the former, which is found on nearly 8 out of every 10 smartphones around the world. "Clearly, there was strong end-user demand for both Android and iOS products during the quarter and the year," says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team. "What stands out are the different routes Android and Apple took... Read more...
The rumormill surrounding Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 release has been at full power for a couple of weeks, and now, we get our first glimpse at Samsung's accompanying offering - assuming that this leak is accurate. As seen in the shot below, the phone, dubbed "Huron", looks nearly identical to Samsung's Galaxy S4. The biggest difference, of course, is that the bottom button is branded with a Windows logo. While some might not like the idea of a Windows phone looking like an Android phone, I tend to appreciate the styling here more than what we've seen from Nokia's Lumia line. As we reported yesterday, Samsung will be holding an "Unpacked5" event in Barcelona later this month, and... Read more...
Just over 10 years ago, Android was born into this world out of the minds of Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White, who collective envisioned building an advanced operating system for digital cameras. Google had different plans for Android after acquiring the OS in 2005, and on October 22, 2008, the HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1) launched as the first Android smartphone for consumers. It wouldn't be the last. Now a little over five years later since the HTC Dream first hit retail, Android is now the dominant mobile platform around the globe. According to the latest data compiled by Canalys, Android came installed on 79 percent of the nearly 1 billion smartphones shipped around the world... Read more...
It's true that Microsoft's Windows Phone platform is the third most popular mobile operating system in the world, but it's a distant third behind iOS and Android, the two big dogs that run the show. If Microsoft is to increase its slice of the pie, it needs to get more handset makers on board rather than tie itself so closely with Nokia. Microsoft may have received that memo because it's reportedly getting ready to throw a whole bunch of cash at other other phone makers to get serious about Windows Phone. According to a Twitter post by Mobile-Review's Eldar Murtazin, Microsoft plans to pay $1.2 billion to Samsung in support money this year to develop Windows Phone 8 devices. In addition, Microsoft... Read more...
Microsoft and Sony might be out for blood in the console wars (Xbox One versus PlayStation 4), but on a different battlefield, the two could end up on fighting on the same side. That battlefield is mobile, and word on the web is that these two rivals are in discussions about the possibility of Sony releasing a Windows Phone device in 2014. All reports seem to lead back to The Information, a relatively new site that's built up a paywall around the original story. The site only came into existence a few weeks ago, which we point out only to emphasize that we should all be taking these claims with a grain of salt. Sony's been focused on Android, but might be willing to give Windows Phone a shot.... Read more...
It's shaping up to be quite the pleasant holiday season for Windows Phone owners, especially those who are fans of the Temple Run series. Just in time for Christmas, Temple Run 2 is now available for Windows Phone 8 users with at least 1GB of RAM as a free download from the Windows Phone store. Better late than never, right? "It probably needs no introduction, but the sequel to one of the most popular endless runner games of all time offers a gorgeous new environment and new obstacles—everything from zip-lines and mine tracks to sharper turns, waterfalls, and bursts of flame," Microsoft stated in a Windows Phone blog post. "There’s a bigger, scarier monkey chasing you, too. But fear... Read more...
One advantage Microsoft has over the competition in the mobile space is that it owns a number of products and services it can integrate into its Windows Phone platform. Microsoft has done this before and it's doing it again, this time by giving every single Windows Phone user an extra 20GB of free SkyDrive storage for one year. "To show our appreciation of Windows Phone customers, we are giving you an extra 20GB of free SkyDrive storage for one year," Microsoft stated in an email to Windows Phone users. "This is in addition to the 7GB of free SkyDrive storage that all customers currently have." Image Source: Flickr (Janitors) Users have until January 31, 2014 to claim their holiday gift from... Read more...
If you've spotted any of the newest Microsoft television spots, you may have picked up on something. The company has been pushing a single Windows for your entire life, and while that's a good catch-phrase, it's not really applicable given today's state of Windows. There's Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone. Yes, there is interoperability, but it's not perfectly seamless. Evidently, Microsoft is pushing for that to change in the near future. A new ZDNet report suggests that Microsoft's next project is codenamed "Threshold," which could hit the public in Spring of 2015. It will likely be the first major Windows overhaul under a new CEO after Steve Ballmer fully steps away, and it seems... Read more...
Starting today, Windows Phone users can finally join in the fun that is Instagram, which at its core allows you to add filter effects and "transform everyday moments into works of art," or something like that. That's the good news. The bad news is that in an attempt to rush Instagram to the Windows Phone platform, certain features have been left off, at least for the time being. "We wanted to make Instagram available to people with Windows Phones as quickly as possible, so we focused on creating an awesome experience with Instagram’s core features. We’re not finished, and our team will continue developing the Windows Phone app to keep releasing features and bringing you the best Instagram... Read more...
Microsoft can take pause for a moment and celebrate the fact that its Windows Phone platform experienced an impressive 156 percent year-on-year growth rate in the global smartphone market, according to data released by International Data Corporation (IDC). It did it by shipping 9.5 million Windows Phone devices in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 3.7 million in the same period a year ago. Unfortunately for Microsoft, that only translates into a 3.6 percent share of a market that's dominated by Android. There's just no stopping Android. Rather than show any signs of slowing down or plateauing, Android went and topped an 80 percent penetration rate for the first time ever, increasing its share... Read more...
Say what you will about the power of the ecosystem, but one of Microsoft's biggest hurdles to overcome in the mobile arena isn't quality hardware nor software. Nokia makes killer phones, and most of the AAA-level apps in the Windows Phone store are of high quality (just look at Evernote, for example). But there's a reason that the iPad and iPhone have exploded, and a lot of that has to do with a unified app buying experience. Now, Microsoft is reportedly looking to pull off something similar. For years now, the company has been leaning towards a more Windows-centric world. In other words, tying the raw DNA of Windows into each of its business sectors. Xbox, Windows, Windows RT and Windows Phone... Read more...
Not long after Apple unveiled its iPhone 5c, which is available in a variety of attractive colors, Nokia took to Twitter to give a shout-out. On top of a picture showing off its own recent Lumia line, which also comes in a variety of attractive colors, it says, "Imitation Is The Best Form of Flattery". Shots were fired, and for the most part, it seemed to get a chuckle out of a lot of people. Clearly, however, the fact that Nokia took a jab at Apple in this way struck some as a bit odd, given Apple enjoys a huge piece of the smartphone marketshare pie, while Nokia's share is so small, it'd be equivalent to a single bite (and who can have just one bite of a delicious pie?). Still, Nokia's Lumia... Read more...
It should come as a surprise to no one that Microsoft hasn't been pleased with how smartphones equipped with its mobile OS have been selling, with many speculating that a solution could only come about if the company took things into its own hands. Well, with its announced acquisition of Nokia, it's clear that Microsoft believes the same thing - but just how far are things going to go? According to new reports, Microsoft could go the way of Google and develop its own phones and then get a third-party to manufacture them (in this case, taking advantage of Nokia's resources). If Microsoft were to take this route, it's believed that the device would fall into the Surface family - and wouldn't you... Read more...
In the hardware world, even the best-selling devices eventually reach EOL (end-of-life) status. And, as fate would have it, it seems that the software world follows suit. But every now and again, a product is killed that leaves us scratching our heads. While Windows Phone 8 is clearly the premier mobile product for Microsoft, it sure doesn't feel as if Windows Phone 7 is that old. Plus, Microsoft owes what little success it has seen in the mobile realm to the early adopters who took a chance with WP7. Nevertheless, the company is axing support of its flagship VoIP app, Skype, on Windows Phone 7. Here's the quote from Microsoft: "As we look ahead to the future, we are focusing all our efforts... Read more...
With the introduction of iOS 7 later this week (at least into public hands), Siri is poised to exit "Beta." Finally, right? Of course, language learning takes time, and Siri has been ingesting queries for a long time now in order to improve her understanding of the human voice. Meanwhile, Google Now shipped for Jelly Bean devices, and arguably offered an even more intense and intimate robotic guide. Not only can Google Now respond to your questions and book appointments into your digital calendar, but it can also anticipate. And if we're being honest, Microsoft's own assistant needs to take anticipation to the next level if it wants to grab any eyes. It's no secret that Windows Phone is lagging... Read more...
On Labor Day, Microsoft and Nokia issued a press release confirming that Nokia's devices division was being wholly acquired by Microsoft. It was a fairly short release, and just like that, it was done. But here's the thing: while it was easy to announce, it took a ton of work to get where we are today. The New York Times has a report outlining the timeline of events that led to this historic move -- a move that will remove Nokia's branding from future smartphones, and a move that proves Microsoft is serious about getting into the vertically integrated hardware arena. The story tells a wild tale, where Microsoft weighed options of buying BlackBerry or HTC in order to grab yet another hardware... Read more...
One has to wonder why Microsoft has been doing everything it can to bury big news over the past couple of weeks. Ballmer's retirement plan was unveiled in a hush-hush fashion, and a few days ago, Microsoft decided to give a board seat to an activist investor for the first time in the company's history. As if that weren't enough change for two weeks, there's this: on a U.S. holiday, Microsoft announced that it would be acquiring Nokia's Devices & Services business, while also licensing Nokia's patents and mapping services. To be clear, this is Microsoft buying Nokia's mobile phone business for around $7.2 billion. Even the release puts it this way: "The boards of directors for both companies... Read more...
If there's one thing Microsoft's Windows Phone platform desperately needs (other than a larger user base), it's more apps. We're not talking about fart apps and other filler type material, but at this point, it's even missing some of the more popular apps available on other platforms. One you can soon cross off the list, however, is Instagram. Chris Weber, Nokia's executive vice president, reportedly confirmed that Instagram is headed to the Windows Phone Store during a recent trip to Thailand. He didn't say exactly when Instagram will be available to Windows Phone users, only that it's coming. This will be a major addition for Microsoft. Instagram is hugely popular with over 130 million users... Read more...
Microsoft is already fighting an uphill battle on its Windows Phone platform in terms of fleshing the number of available of apps so that it's on par (or in the vicinity) of Android and iOS, but it's biggest battle to date has been making a YouTube app available to its users. It should be pretty simple, however Microsoft and Google continue to butt heads over the app's coding. Unfortunately for Microsoft, Google has the final say, and right now Google is saying the YouTube app for Windows Phone violates its terms of service. "Microsoft has not made the browser upgrades necessary to enable a fully-featured YouTube experience, and has instead re-released a YouTube app that violates our terms of... Read more...
The mobile market is dominated by Android and iOS, but lest either platform get too comfortable sitting way out in front of the pack, watch out for Windows Phone. According to the latest figures released by the International Data Corporation (IDC), Windows Phone shipments surged 77 percent year-over-year, the largest gain of any smartphone platform. Lest we get carried away here, that leap in shipments still only translates into a 3.7 percent share of the overall market, albeit that's up from 3.1 percent in the same quarter a year ago. Android is still king and growing in power, increasing its share of the market from 69.1 percent in the second quarter of last year to 79.3 percent in Q2 2013.... Read more...
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