Items tagged with wp8

By and large, the Lumia line has looked fairly uniform to date, relying on polycarbonate frames, bold colors and stand-out camera features to differentiate itself. The Lumia 925, despite being one of the final Lumias to ship with Nokia's branding, stands as one of the first in the range to truly carve a different path on the design front. It's the first Lumia to roll metal into its design, and while you'll still recognize it as a tried-and-true Lumia at a glance, there's no question that it's cut from a different cloth. In many ways, the Lumia 925 stands as a gentle refresh of the Lumia 920. It adds a bit of metal to its construction, slims down the overall package, and includes a nice boost... Read more...
We're inching closer to the end of an era. Now that Microsoft has acquired Nokia's mobile phone unit, we'll soon see Microsoft-branded handsets rolling out in place of Nokia's own hardware. The company has made a heroic attempt to fight the tide of Apple's growing popularity coupled with the surging share of Android, but currently, Windows Phone holds only around 5% of the global market in smartphones. By and large, the Lumia line has looked fairly uniform to date, relying on polycarbonate frames, bold colors and stand-out camera features to differentiate itself. The Lumia 925, despite being one of the final Lumias to ship with Nokia's branding, stands as one of the first in the range to truly... Read more...
HTC's quarterly earnings just rolled in, and they are pretty far from the modern definition of "rosey." But, that's not exactly a surprise given the firm's stuggles in recent quarters. There are multiple schools of thought when it comes to the idea of getting HTC back on track; the company makes outstanding hardware that's generally well-reviewed, but they just can't seem to shake the 800-pound gorilla known as Samsung when it comes to mindshare (and in turn, market share). Now, according to a Bloomberg report, Microsoft is knocking on HTC's door with a nugget of hope: it wants to add Windows Phone to HTC's Android-based phones "at little or not cost." HTC was a prior Windows Phone partner, and... 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...
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...
With the mobile phone sector stealing its fair share of gaming dollars from the traditional handheld market, Microsoft has decided to do something pretty smart: team up with a major publisher of games in order to shape titles up for launch onto both its mobile and desktop platforms. This week, Microsoft inked a deal with Gameloft, and the partnership is a fairly unique one. All told, 15 Gameloft titles will be headed Microsoft's way in the next dozen months, but here's where it gets interesting: Beginning with the releases this Fall of "Asphalt 8: Airborne" and "Dungeon Hunter 4," Gameloft will launch a complete line-up of blockbusters across many genres simultaneously on Windows 8 and Windows... Read more...
Microsoft is facing a lot of headwind when it comes to Windows Phone adoption, and in a bid to deal with a bit of that, the company is launching a new Web-based tool. The Windows Phone App Studio is launching today in beta, which is a free app creation tool designed to help anyone quickly bring an idea to life by applying text, web content, imagery, and design concepts to any one of a rich set of customizable templates. Users need only create a Microsoft account, choose your template, and begin adding content. When you’re app is ready to go, you can download the app to your own phone, or share it with others by publishing it to the Windows Phone Store. Of course, Microsoft has historically... Read more...
Nokia's battle in the global smartphone race is an intriguing one, and those who follow technology have long wondered if the company's decision to hitch its wagon to Microsoft was a wise one. When Stephen Elop came in as CEO, Nokia was in a rare position: it could choose which platform it wanted to support for the foreseeable future. Of course, choosing Windows Phone was a polarizing choice. Android loyalists yearned to see Nokia hardware running Google's mobile OS, while early fans of Windows Phone were thrilled to have such a well-regarded hardware maker on-board. Since the Windows Phone OS alone probably isn't enough to sway many smartphone consumers to try a Lumia device, Nokia has resorted... Read more...
Nokia's battle in the global smartphone race is an intriguing one, and those who follow technology have long wondered if the company's decision to hitch its wagon to Microsoft was a wise one. When Stephen Elop came in as CEO, Nokia was in a rare position: it could choose which platform it wanted to support for the foreseeable future. Of course, choosing Windows Phone was a polarizing choice. Android loyalists yearned to see Nokia hardware running Google's mobile OS, while early fans of Windows Phone were thrilled to have such a well-regarded hardware maker on-board. Over the past couple of years, Windows Phone as a whole has struggled to gain mass acceptance. Meanwhile, iOS and Android have... Read more...
Every relationship has its nuances, and usually, every relationship has its fair share of bickering. Even if you love someone unconditionally, there will typically be scenarios where you just can't agree or see eye-to-eye. One had to expect something similar when looking at Microsoft and Nokia, which tied each other to the hip years ago with Windows Phone. Nokia simply hitched its wagon to Microsoft's mobile OS for the future of its smartphone range, and now it's having to live with the decision of selecting an operating system that is having a terrible time gaining ground in the market. One of the biggest gripes from would-be users is the dearth of apps. The world's most popular apps just aren't... Read more...
Slowly but surely, Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system is getting some serious love. Instead of being left behind as Android and iOS counterparts see routine updates, WP8 is starting to see lockstep updates on some fairly major applications. Take Evernote, for example, which just updates its WP app with a new look and a handful of useful new features. The update apps a new hub page upon launch, with new note options, shorcuts, recent activity, notebooks, tags, and support for Evernote Business. This update also brings three important improvements to the note view. First, if you have a note that you need to go to frequently, create a shortcut. This will place the note onto the hub page... Read more...
Windows Phone is still struggling mightily to make meaningful gains in the U.S. market, and if there's one thing that'll help, it's getting more WP8 phones into more stores. And Walmart is a pretty meaingful store. Huawei isn't a major name in the U.S. arena, at least in terms of consumer devices, but the company is bringing its W1 to U.S. shores in an effort to get a foothold while also advancing Microsoft's mobile OS. The W1 will ship with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1.7GB of user-accessible space, a microSD slot, a 4" IPS LCD, and a 5MP rear camera. It's loaded with Windows Phone 8, and will ship unlocked in prepaid form on Walmart.com and in select Walmart stores. There's no mention of... Read more...
Looks like Microsoft just popped another feather in its cap. As the company strives to expand its Windows Store to include some of the AAA applications that iPhone and Android users already enjoy, Rhapsody just joined the Windows Phone fray. The company's new WP8 app most certainly looks the part, fitting in quite nicely with the standard WP trimmings. Moreover, the app boasts more than just good looks. It adds offline downloads, and integrates nicely from an OS level. The premium version of the service will still run you $10/month, but if you're one of the Rhapsody faithful that have been holding strong while waiting for a WP program to call your own, that wait is over. Now, when can we expect... Read more...
Numbers are a funny thing, and contrary to their very nature, far from absolute when a human element is involved. The latest mobile data from two market research firms underscores this dilemma and proves you should always take market share figures with a pinch of salt. One of those firms is Strategy Analytics, which just a few days ago reported that Microsoft had, for the first time, surpassed BlackBerry in the fourth quarter of 2012 to become the third most popular mobile operating system in the U.S. and Canada behind iOS and Android. Specific figures were only shared with its clients, not the press, so we don't have an idea of the margin of victory, if indeed there was one. Say what? According... Read more...
As 2013 rings in, we all get a chance to look back, reflect and take inventory on where were are. Here at HotHardware, it also gives us a chance to think about our wish list for the year ahead, and how we hope our favorite gadgets and platforms evolve. Evolution is a natural part of growth in consumer electronics, and with companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Apple gaining more and more brand recognition across mainstream devices and markets, the stakes have never been higher. In turn, there has never been a better time for these companies to push the envelope in an effort to stay one step ahead and more than just "current," when it comes to cutting-edge technology and features. Below,... Read more...
In a sense, it feels like Windows Phone 8 is Microsoft's first real foray into the smartphone space post Windows Mobile. Of course, Microsoft made a concerted effort with Windows Phone 7, but there's something very different about version 8. WP8 borrows from the underpinnings of Windows Phone 7, but there are so many differences in the operating system -- along with its incompatibility with WP7-class hardware -- that it feels like we're evaluating an entirely new product. And in reality, we are. Nokia's Lumia 920 is one of the first Windows Phone 8 products, along with HTC's 8X, in a holiday smartphone lineup that has become amazingly crowded, but Nokia's expertise in the hardware business shines... Read more...
In a sense, it feels like Windows Phone 8 is Microsoft's first real foray into the smartphone space post Windows Mobile. Of course, Microsoft made a concerted effort with Windows Phone 7, but there's something vastly different about version 8. WP8 borrows from the underpinnings of Windows Phone 7, but there are so many differences in the operating system -- along with its incompatibility with WP7-class hardware -- that it feels like we're evaluating an entirely new product. And in reality, we are. Nokia's Lumia 920 is one of the first Windows Phone 8 products, along with HTC's 8X, in a holiday smartphone lineup that has become amazingly crowded. Microsoft is trying... Read more...
There's good news and bad. First, the good. According to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, his company is selling "four times" as many Windows Phone handsets as this time last year, and he's attributing that in large part to Windows Phone 8 being available across three of America's four largest carriers. But here's the bad news: no one outside of Microsoft truly knows what that means. It's impossible to really put a target on something so vague, and given that Microsoft isn't telling how many WP7 products it sold during the holidays last year, there's no true way to compare. Ballmer, speaking this week at a shareholder meeting, said: "Windows Phone 8 has been on sale for a few weeks and is off to... Read more...
Microsoft has made clear that it'll be making huge efforts to equip developers with the tools they need to make a serious contribution to the SkyDrive ecosystem. As we've seen over the past few years, ecosystems matter much more, and raw tech specs matter much less. Particularly with Windows Phone, which lacks many key apps compared to iOS and Android, this is all the more imporant. Now, it's adding client-side SDKs targeting Windows 8, Windows Phone, JavaScript Web library, iOS and Android as well as made several enhancement to our REST APIs by removing file extension restrictions and also letting you upload full resolution pictures. It's also announcing the availability of new SDKs for .NET... Read more...
The first Windows Phone 8 handsets are trickling out, and for those anxious to see what Microsoft has been cooking up in terms of Skype integration, now's your turn. Microsoft has today released a Skype Preview for WP8 (version 2.0). According to the company, this Preview build will give users "all of the Skype basics in the new, modern design along with many of the new features such as integration with the People Hub and a combined contact list with buddies from Windows Live Messenger. Additionally, you'll start receiving some call and message notifications - even when the app is closed and in the background." You can get started by downloading the program from the Windows Phone Store, but Microsoft... Read more...
There's a story behind every champion, and every upstart has a tale to tell as well. While Windows may own the lion's share of the market when it comes to the desktop operating system, Windows Phone is lagging behind two highly capable rivals. But Windows Phone 8 is the most promising version yet, and Microsoft has even taken the time to outline the story behind what makes it so unique: the Start screen. The core idea is the desire for a Start screen to be more than just static. Microsoft's "Live Tiles" actually present data in real time, so even if you only glance at your Start screen -- without ever opening an app -- you're blasted with information that's useful to you. As the engineering and... Read more...
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