Windows Phone to get Mega cloud storage service in 2014
Windows Phone 8 users won't be left out of access to the Mega cloud storage service, the Kim Dotcom-helmed company revealed last week. A Reddit user posted confirmation from Mega, with the company saying it plans to build an app for Microsoft's smartphone platform. The company was not very specific regarding a launch date for the Windows Phone 8 Mega app, but it did point to early 2014 as a launch window.
One year on, most Windows Phone devices are WP8
Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 platform is by far the predominant install among owners of Windows Phone devices, with three-quarters of Windows Phone devices worldwide running Windows Phone 8. This according to figures from AdDuplex, which earlier pointed to Nokia's dominance among Windows Phone manufacturers. The new figures seem to indicate that at least some Windows Phone users were upgrading within the ecosystem after it was revealed last year that devices running Windows Phone 7.X would not be receiving an update to the latest Windows Phone version.
Microsoft soon to hold three-quarters of own mobile destiny
Nokia's Lumia line of smartphones now accounts for more than three out of four total Windows Phone devices in the hands of consumers, according to Ad Duplex. ZDNet reported this week on Nokia's increasing dominance over the Windows Phone environment, revealing numbers indicating that the soon-to-be Microsoft-owned line of devices has only grown its share as the platform has gradually expanded. Most of Nokia's growth, though, has come in the low-end handset market, an arena where competition is increasing rapidly.
Line reaches 300M users, aims for 500M within 2014
Mobile messaging app Line has passed the 300 million user milestone, increasing from 200 million in just four months, with CEO Akira Morikawa aiming for the company to reach 500 million users in total within 2014. While the company has previously tried to drum up interest in the United States, Line states that the largest growth areas are in fact regions such as Spain and Mexico, with future expansion plans targeting India, Turkey, and Western Europe.
Windows Phone app updated with new name, new look
Nokia has rebranded its music streaming service for Lumia smartphones, and has updated its Windows Phone app at the same time. Nokia MixRadio operates in a similar manner to the advertisement-free Nokia Music service it is replacing, this time with a greater emphasis on the downloadable mixes, as well as introducing a personalized mix.
ZTE to continue making Windows Phones, launch smartwatch
Chinese mobile device maker ZTE says it will launch a smartwatch device in the first quarter of 2014, according to a new report. He Shiyou, executive vice president and head of ZTE's handset business, told The Financial Times on Sunday that the firm will enter the burgeoning wearable technology market next quarter with a smartwatch, and he hinted that ZTE is also looking into connected eyewear like Google's Glass device. The ZTE exec also reaffirmed his company's commitment to making phones running Windows Phone 8 operating system, despite the fact that Microsoft has entered the phone hardware market with its purchase of Nokia's mobile operations.
Popular picture sharing app to arrive on Microsoft's platform
Windows Phone users will soon be able to check off one more popular app as an inclusion on their platform, as Facebook's Instagram app is thought to be nearing a release. The popular image-sharing app has been sorely missing from the platform since Windows Phone 8's launch last year, but Nokia Power User claims that the URL http://instagram.com/download/windows/ now redirects to page in Microsoft's Windows Phone Store, indicating that the app has been submitted and will likely launch soon. The page in question, though, still shows a 404 error message when accessed.
Off-the-glass interactions via hardware sensors
Nokia is reportedly preparing to introduce a new form of gesture interaction with its upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 handsets. Known internally as "3D Touch," the technology is said to use hardware sensors to detect gestures without requiring any physical contact with the phone display, similar to Samsung's Air Gestures system, unnamed sources have told The Verge.
BitTorrent Sync hits version 1.2.29
The BitTorrent Sync app for iOS has hit version 1.2.29, bringing new capabilities, as well as an iPad version. BitTorrent Sync users will now be able to access their files from iPads, as well as iPhones. The app has also been updated with a new design to reflect its iOS 7 compatibility. Users will see improved connection speed, and they can also save pictures and video from synced folders to the Camera Roll on an iOS device.
Android still clearly in lead
Apple and the iPhone's share of the US smartphone market increased sequentially from 39.9 percent to 40.6 percent in the September quarter, according to new comScore figures. The growth is believed to have been spurred by the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c on September 20th; although the devices would've been on sale for just 10 days in the quarter, Apple typically sees a surge of early adopters during any iPhone launch.
Windows Phone climbs to four percent as Android dominates
Google's Android platform continues to dominate the worldwide smartphone market, according to new figures from Strategy Analytics that put Android at 81.3 percent of the global smartphone market. Android and Apple's iOS platform together account for nearly 95 percent of smartphones shipped worldwide, though Apple's share has declined year over year. One beneficiary of Apple's slippage may have been Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, which has seen a year-over-year increase.
Twitter profile image redownloads fault in Windows Phone
A feature in Windows Phone is causing device owners to unexpectedly use high amounts of data, which could be potentially expensive for some phone users. An issue in the operating system's Twitter integration has devices frequently redownloading profile images from the service, an issue that Microsoft has been quick to confirm exists.
Southwest complains over lack of approval for Microsoft-made app
A move by Microsoft to repackage popular mobile websites as apps for Windows Phone devices has hit some turbulence. A number of the Microsoft Web Apps under the initiative have been pulled from the service, with at least one company complaining about their web content being republished by Microsoft without its permission.
Refocus app allows for Lytro-style post-shot refocusing of image
A number of software updates for Windows Phone and Lumia devices have been announced at Nokia's media event earlier today. Apps such as Vine and Flipboard for Windows Phone were demonstrated running on Windows Phone, while a number of photography related updates for PureView devices were also revealed.
Six-inch Nokia phablets include premium, mid-range offerings
Nokia has revealed a pair of Lumia phablets, a first for the manufacturer. Both the Lumia 1520 and the Lumia 1320 sport six-inch displays and Windows Phone 8, and though the two are superficially similar, the Lumia 1520 is a premium offering, while the 1320 is meant to be a more affordable, lower-specification model.
Nokia's Lumia sales continue to creep up
Sales of Nokia's Lumia line of Windows Phone-powered devices continue to creep upward, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Finnish phone maker, whose mobile division was recently bought by Microsoft, is said to have sold more than eight million Lumia devices in the third quarter of this year, up from 7.4 million in the previous quarter. Should the new figures bear out in Nokia's forthcoming earnings statement, that would mark the fourth straight quarter of increasing smartphone sales for the firm.
Windows Phone devices to get Remote Desktop feature
Microsoft has confirmed that owners of Windows Phone devices will get access to a Remote Desktop feature in the future. The app will allow Windows Phone users to access a computer remotely and control it, according to The Next Web, but Microsoft has yet to detail when the feature will become available for users of its smartphone operating system. Microsoft has already announced the feature for Android, and a version for iOS landed on Thursday.
Nokia World event set to introduce first phablet, tablet
Nokia has issued an unusual teaser for its forthcoming Nokia World event scheduled for October 22 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Pictured appears to be to the previously leaked Nokia Lumia 2520 6-inch Windows Phone phablet and the similarly leaked Windows RT 8.1 tablet codenames known as the Sirius. Also pictured, intriguingly, is a notebook – it could be a literal representation of the ad copy, which reads ‘Watch the action on your screen of choice,’ or a reference to Nokia’s upcoming acquisition by Microsoft and an acknowledgement of the close integration of its devices and Microsoft’s Windows empire.
Windows Phone 8, Nokia firmware adds new camera app, FM radio
AT&T will be rolling out updates to some Windows Phone 8 devices used on its network later today, according to a post on the carrier's forum. The General Distribution Release 2 (GDR2) update for Windows Phone 8, along with the Amber firmware for the Nokia Lumia 820 and Lumia 920, will start to appear as a notification on subscriber devices later today, with the updates downloadable over a Wi-Fi connection.
Possible cut, elimination of license fee could make Windows Phone more attractive
Microsoft is still seeking to expand the reach of its Windows Phone operating system, at the possible expense of Android. A report claims that Microsoft asked HTC to add Windows Phone to its smartphones as an alternative mobile OS choice, giving users the ability to select which software they want to use on their device.
Verizon extends smartphone dominance
Verizon has reportedly established a solid lead in US smartphone sales over the previous three months, while Windows Phone devices are nearing 10-percent market share in European markets, according to data collected by research firm Kantar. AT&T smartphone sales between June and August last year were said to be close to Verizon, however the latter company reportedly fetched 37 percent of shipments in the same quarter this year as the former slid to 22 percent.
New software under Gemeni codename
Microsoft is reportedly working on a new series of Office utilities for Windows 8 and the Windows Phone mobile platform. Office division VP Kirk Koenigsbauer reportedly demonstrated one of the new apps, Office Reader for Windows 8, at an internal meeting yesterday, unnamed sources have told The Verge. The software is said to serve as a universal reader with support for Office documents, PDFs, e-books, textbooks and web pages.
Accreditation of Windows Phone 8 brings it in line with Apple, Samsung
The Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system has earned a key government accreditation, allowing it to be used on secure networks operated by the US government. The FIPS 140-2 certification allows for Windows Phone devices to come under consideration for governmental organizations to use in situations requiring security and the use of encrypted communications.
Windows Phone Store does 270 million transactions per month
Microsoft's Windows Phone Store continues to grow apace, even if it greatly trails Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store. The software giant reported on its Windows Phone Developer Blog that the platform now serves nine million transactions of app and in-app purchases per day. That adds up to 270 million transactions per month, solid growth for the platform.
Learning assistant for Windows Phone takes name from Halo character
Microsoft may be working on its own virtual assistant, in the same vein as Apple's Siri and Google Now. App listings that appeared in leaked screenshots for the next Windows Phone operating system release showed one item marked as "zCortana," something that is said to be a voice-controlled assistant that can automatically learn from its user.
Microsoft adds 5M square miles of images to Bing Maps
Microsoft has updated Bing Maps to include another 13 million square kilometers (5 million square miles) of satellite imagery. The update, consisting of aircraft and satellite aerial imagery according to The Next Web, is spread over the majority of the world, including areas of Iceland, France, Brazil, England, Chile, Fiji, and China, with the added photographs totaling almost 316 terabytes of data.
Microsoft buying Nokia will tear down secrecy walls
One outgrowth of Microsoft's recent transaction with Nokia may be somewhat unexpected: the two companies will no longer keep secrets from each other. Speaking with CNet on Friday, Windows Phone vice president Joe Belfiore said that, despite the two companies close cooperation, there were still operational developments that Microsoft would not reveal to Nokia and vice versa. Having brought Nokia's wireless operations under the Microsoft umbrella, cooperation and coordination on hardware and software will apparently receive a large boost.
Microsoft, AT&T make Lumia 1020 price drop permanent
Cost-conscious fans of Nokia's Lumia 1020 have lucked out, as Microsoft and AT&T have decided to drop the price of the device by $100 for good. The most powerful smartphone-camera combination on the market can now be had for $199. The announcement came Friday by way of the Windows Phone Blog. That price point is available at AT&T's site, its physical retail locations, and at Microsoft Stores.
Lumia 1520 could offer 50 percent more homescreen
The Nokia Lumia 1520 'Bandit' 6-inch smartphone has had its homescreen leaked courtesy of @evleaks. The fully stocked homescreen reveals that the 6-inch display on the forthcoming phablet will support 50 percent more live tiles. This is in part due to the additional screen real estate combined with the addition of 1080p support in Windows Phone 8 GDR3 for the first time. The Lumia 1520 will also be the first Windows Phone device to support a quad-core processor.
Microsoft says WP8 manufacturers don't need to worry
Microsoft maintains that it won't let its relationship with its Windows Phone manufacturing partners deteriorate even though it just purchased Nokia and effectively became a competitor with those same partners. Shortly after news of the acquisition broke early on Tuesday, Microsoft Executive Vice President of Operating Systems Terry Myerson took to Blogging Windows in order to reaffirm the company's commitment to partners such as Samsung, HTC, and Huawei. The goal of Myerson's group, according to his post, "is to enable the innovations of our hardware partners to shine through on the Windows platform."
Today's app block second time Google shut down app in 2013
Microsoft has responded to Google's admission of blocking the newly re-released Windows Phone YouTube app over alleged violations of the YouTube terms of service. In a statement, the software giant claims that Google is attempting to stymie the entire Windows Phone app development process for YouTube, despite agreeing to work cooperatively on the matter earlier this year, and Google's complaints and reasons for blocking the app are "nothing other than excuses."
App violates terms of service
App reinstates Google advertising for YouTube videos
The YouTube app for Windows Phone has made a reappearance on the platform, following an advertising spat in May. The revised app now displays advertisements from Google that accompany YouTube videos, and also allows Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8 users to upload their own clips to the service.
Tech in development for six months
The iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Nokia versions of WhatsApp Messenger will be getting a single-tap voice messaging feature, their developer says. CEO Jan Koum comments that the company has been working on the technology for about six months. Although voice messaging in itself isn't unique, WhatsApp says it hopes to make its implementation simpler than the alternatives.
Larger than 5-inch 1080p display touted, possible launch in September
Nokia could be launching its first Windows Phone phablet later this year, according to a new rumor. The device is also said to be the first of a "new era" of quad-core Nokia Lumia smartphones, potentially increasing the performance when compared to dual-core device launches from the company, such as the Lumia 1020.
Cross-platform NFL Mobile app offers news updates, limited video streams
The NFL is introducing its new mobile app for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. The revised cross-platform app will provide news, video highlights and other game data, with Verizon customers paying $5 per month being able to watch selected full games through the device and view extra RedZone content, according to All Things D. Other users with subscriptions to certain pay TV services can also gain access to certain types of content, though the Wall Street Journal reports that current rights allocations to companies will be shaken up next year.
Microsoft has until December 31st to roll out CalDAV, CardDAV support
Google has extended the use of Sync for Windows Phone Users until December 31st. Google Sync, which provides integration with Google's contact and calendar services, was initially set to be closed to new activations on August 1st, but this has been extended further than the already-extended cut-off date to the end of this year.
Nokia executive says great hardware isn't enough
Microsoft needs to be more proactive in improving its Windows Phone platform if it wants it to be successful, according to Nokia vice president Byran Biniak. Biniak spoke with IBTimes UK on Friday, saying that the software giant hasn't done enough to push forward the quality of its platform in the face of competition from Apple's iOS and Google's Android. The remarks are possibly the harshest any Nokia representative since the Finnish phone maker decided to bet the company on Microsoft's platform.
Users redirected to mobile website, iOS and Android apps
Transit direction service HopStop has completely halted support for its Windows Phone app, reports say. The app is no longer available for download, and people who already have it installed are receiving an error message directing them to the mobile website or equivalent iOS and Android apps. HopStop was bought out by Apple earlier this month.
Russian buyers forced to turn to other sources
All three major Russian phone carriers have stopped selling the iPhone at their stores, leaving people to buy from Apple directly, Svyaznoy outlets, or else the black/gray market, says Fortune. The last holdout was VimpleCom, whose Beeline brand severed its ties with Apple last week, replacing the iPhone 5 in its lineup with the Samsung Galaxy S4. Beeline blames the switch on "draconian [Apple] contracts" and "harsh conditions...especially in the marketing department." Previously, MTS CEO Andrei Dubovskov stated that "Apple wants operators to pay them huge money subsidizing iPhones and their promotion in Russia" when asked about his own company dropping the hardware.
Windows Phone gains small ground
The iPhone's share of the US smartphone market rose 3.5 percent year-over-year during a three-month period ending in May 2013, according to new Kantar Worldpanel data. The growth to 41.9 percent of sales is credited in large part to the successful launch of the phone on T-Mobile. Prior to April, T-Mobile was the last major national carrier without the iPhone.
New initiative attempt to stop 'duopoly' of Android, iOS phones
Mexico-based Telefonica today announced the establishment of an "enhanced marketing effort" with Microsoft that aims to boost the sales of Windows Phone 8 handsets. Initially for a period of one year, Telefónica will enhance marketing activities in support of its Windows Phone 8 devices in a number of countries to offset the "duopoly of Android and iOS."
Default passwords described as too weak
The auto-generated passwords for iOS Personal Hotspots can be cracked in under a minute, a group of German researchers claim. In a paper (PDF) out of the University of Erlangen, the people explain that iOS generates passwords based on word list of about 52,500 entries, but only relies on 1,842. The word selection process is moreover said to be insufficiently random, making it easy to brute-force an attack.
Acer puts onus on Microsoft to drive more sales, apps
Electronics manufacturer Acer won't be releasing smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 platform in calendar year 2013, according to executives from the company. Speaking with Pocket-lint, Acer vice president for the EMEA region said that the company doesn't yet see Microsoft's fledgling system as a safe bet. The company wants Microsoft to do a better job of laying out the benefits of its platform before Acer will commit to producing a handset for it.
Windows Phone, Android smartphones could be priced under $100 on-contract
Two more phones destined for Sprint have been revealed in separate FTC filings. The HTC Tiara with Windows Phone 8 and the ZTE Vital appear in filings with LTE connectivity for Sprint's network, suggesting that the two devices will receive some form of official announcement from the carrier in the coming months.
Windows Phone to get notification center, more features
Microsoft appears to be preparing to add a slew of new features to its Windows Phone 8 operating system, according to new leaked screenshots. First spotted on a Windows Phone buyer's Flickr feed, there's no word on when the features shown off in the shots might actually see release, but they demonstrate that Microsoft isn't yet giving up on its fledgling mobile platform, even as it struggles to gain market share. Chief among the new features: Microsoft appears to be appearing with a notification center for its platform.
Shipments for iOS rises for the quarter, market share drops
Shipments of Windows Phone devices have overtaken those of BlackBerry phones for the first time, according to a report. Numbers from IDC places the Microsoft mobile operating system in third place, still a considerable away behind iOS and Android shipments, which are said to make up 92.3-percent of all shipments when combined.
JAYS updates a-JAYS Five with all-new design in three versions
Swedish audio maker JAYS has released the latest version of its popular a-JAYS Five series earphones. Unlike the previous model that came in one edition, the new lineup comes in three discrete models, each individually tailored to iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. Each of the three models features its own three-button remote that supports all the remote functionality of each type of smartphone running each OS.
Microsoft allegedly completely disregarded terms of service, API rules
A week-old update of Microsoft's YouTube for Windows Phone is the target of a cease-and-desist order from Google, demanding that the app be immediately withdrawn from the Windows Phone Store and each downloaded copy be remotely disabled by May 22. The complaint centers on the total lack of advertisements and disregard of the YouTube terms of service by Microsoft in developing the app.
New payment system to work on Xbox Live, Windows Store, Windows Phone Store
Microsoft may be scrapping its Points virtual currency in favor of local currency pricing, according to a report. The rumor, which has surfaced a few times in the past, is now bolstered with new claims that the new system would work across platforms, with Microsoft preparing to reveal it at the E3 game show later this year.