Universal app submissions part of Windows Dev Center changes
Microsoft has started to accept submissions for "Universal Apps" in its Dev Center. Developers can now link apps made for the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store to create a single Windows app listing, allowing users to buy once on one platform and for it to be downloadable and usable on other Windows devices they also own.
Reason tech works a mystery
The Windows Phone 8.1 preview version of Microsoft Wallet actually supports Passbook files from iOS, reports say. iMore notes that Microsoft has developed a method of extracting information from a Passbook file. The individual passes are said to be composed of generic data, and simply rendered by the container app, much like a browser renders a webpage.
Windows Phone update to 8.1 adds Cortana, may void warranties
Windows Phone 8.1 is now available to download as a developer preview, allowing users to try out the Cortana virtual assistant on their own devices. The latest version of the mobile operating system, which Microsoft officially debuted on April 2nd at its Build conference, can be installed on smartphones owned by developers enrolled in Microsoft's Windows Phone Developer program.
Rumored Samsung tablet uses 2560x1600 resolution, Android KitKat
Details for two Samsung mobile devices have surfaced in two separate rumors. One device appears to be an Android tablet with a 10.5-inch AMOLED display with the model number SM-T800, while the second leak suggests there could be another Windows Phone device coming from the manufacturer after the recent ATIV SE launch.
Verizon-exclusive Windows Phone pre-orders begin, ships April 12
Verizon has quietly launched the Samsung ATIV SE on its network, and has started to accept pre-orders of the device. Just as previously rumored, the Verizon-exclusive smartphone will be shipping with Windows Phone 8 onboard instead of Windows Phone 8.1, though it is likely that Samsung will be providing an update to the newer operating system shortly after release.
New Lumias will ship with Windows Phone 8.1 onboard
The former CEO of Nokia, Stephen Elop, has taken to the stage at Microsoft's Build developer conference to reveal three Lumia devices running on Windows Phone 8.1. The Lumia 930 has a five-inch ClearBlack full HD display with PureView camera capabilities, while the budget-aimed Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 are smaller devices with a 4.5-inch ClearBlack display and more restrained specifications.
Software update after Samsung ATIV SE launch will reportedly occur
Samsung's next Windows Phone device will not come with Windows Phone 8.1 pre-installed, according to leaked specifications. The Verizon-bound ATIV SE, pictured in another leak last month with a Windows Phone 8.1 interface, will apparently launch with Windows Phone 8, instead receiving the newer mobile operating system as an update after its launch.
New video believed to show Lumia 630, Windows Phone 8.1 features
A Nokia smartphone running Windows Phone 8.1 has reportedly appeared in a new leaked hands-on video. The surfaced clip allegedly shows the Lumia 630, thought to be codenamed Moneypenny, using the Microsoft mobile operating system, showing the Action Center, apps for podcasts and radio, the new store app, and the layout of the camera app in the upcoming release.
Developer Preview of next Windows Phone version delayed by a week
The Windows Phone Store will be overhauled in Windows Phone 8.1, according to some new screenshots. At the same time, as the store changes have surfaced, there is also news the Windows Phone 8.1 core has been finalized, meaning that most of the main development of the mobile operating system has completed, but it is apparently still a long way off from reaching consumers.
Suite would improve current multiplatform support
Alongside Office for iPad, Microsoft may also be preparing to launch a new licensing bundle today called the Enterprise Mobility Suite, sources say. The bundle is reportedly aimed at large-scale customers who need a way of managing Windows, iOS, and/or Android devices. While cross-platform support has been available from Microsoft for a while, EMS is expected to include Windows Intune, a new Azure Active Directory "Premium" option, and Azure Rights Management Services. Active Directory Premium is described as a paid version of Azure Active Directory with features like group-based app access, and self-service password resets and group management.
App for Windows Phones developed with Royal National Institute of Blind People
Last week, Nokia released a new app for the Windows Phone platform to help people with vision issues, or those that need bigger text in their day-to-day activities. The aptly-named Pocket Magnifier was developed with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in the UK to use a phone's camera to enhance text. The app allows for frames to be frozen for steady reading, offers filters to help define text, and allows the use of an LED (flash) to light up the object being read. Owners of a number of Nokia Windows Phone models utilizing their cameras now have another use for their device if they need assistance reading something on the go.
New statement reverses Huawei CMO comments about dual-OS devices
Huawei will not be producing a smartphone that is capable of booting to two operating systems, the company has revealed. Responding to reports about comments made by Chief Marketing Officer Shao Yang, the manufacturer advised it is not currently planning the release of a device that will boot to Windows Phone as well as Android.
Codename Huron shows Windows Phone 8.1, front and rear
New images of the Samsung ATIV SE, previously codenamed the Huron, have surfaced. The leaked images show the Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone as barely changing from its previous appearance, though the addition of carrier branding on the front shows it will be heading to Verizon, and is the second device exclusive to the carrier to leak in the last few days, after the LG Lucid 3.
Messaging app could offer voice calling in future update
WhatsApp, the messaging client being acquired by Facebook for $19 billion, could soon add voice calling to its features list, according to reportedly leaked screenshots. The images of the apparent VoIP interface comes at the same time as a video surfaces, seemingly demonstrating an updated version of the client for Windows Phone that is claimed to still be in beta.
Nokia rolls out Refocus app to all Lumia devices running Windows Phone 8
Nokia is making its Lytro-style Refocus app available to all Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices, as a free download via the Windows Phone Store. The app, which was initially released for Lumias with PureView, allows users to adjust the focal point of an image, after the photograph has been taken, with the resulting image shareable on social networks and stored on OneDrive.
Two smartphone manufacturers in India said to have fee-free deal
Microsoft has signed a deal with two smartphone producers to use Windows Phone in their devices without a license fee, according to a report. Karbonn and Lava will apparently release Windows Phone devices in the coming months, in what appears to be an attempt by Microsoft to increase the availability of the mobile operating system in the face of competition from iOS and Android.
iPhone still most popular device
Apple grew its share among US smartphone owners during the last quarter to 41.6 percent, according to new comScore data. Data polled between October and January shows that Apple advanced 1 percentage point. The company's main rival, Samsung, grew ownership by 1.3 points, but remained firmly in second place at 26.7 percent. LG's share rose just 0.3 points to 6.9 percent, presumably on the back of the G2 and the Google-branded Nexus 5.
Vudu adding support for Google Chromecast to mobile apps, website
Vudu has revealed it will be adding support for the Google Chromecast to the streaming service in the future. Both the mobile apps for iOS and Android will gain the extra ability, including offering remote control through the app itself, with casting through the Chrome browser for Mac and PC also touted as part of the release. Though Vudu has yet to reveal a date, it is accepting registrations for beta testing.
Karbonn Mobiles could be first to market with Windows Phone, Android smartphone
The first smartphones running both Android and Windows Phone will be launching this year, according to one manufacturer. Karbonn Mobiles of India plans to release a smartphone supporting both mobile operating systems in the next six months, with the company revealing it has recently signed a license agreement with Microsoft for producing Windows Phone devices.
First rumored details of next Lumia device surface
Details of Nokia's next smartphone may have started leaking, just one week after the company launched its long-rumored Nokia X Android device range. A device claimed to be codenamed "Martini" may be the next major Lumia release from the company, though there is currently little in the way of information for what the device will be capable of, aside from the name and operating system.
New release supports all features as other mobile implementations
The BlackBerry Messenger cross-platform communications suite will be available for Windows Phone sometime this summer. The upcoming release was noted on the official BlackBerry blog earlier today, with confirmation that the app for Windows Phone will retain the same functionality as it has on Android, BlackBerry 10, and Apple's iOS. No specific release date was noted, but the app will continue to be free.
OEM program, cheaper parts to attract more developers and markets
With the announcement of the next Windows Phone update coming later this year, Microsoft has teamed with Qualcomm in order to expand access to phone creation during a session at Mobile World Congress. The company is pushing to bring the cost of their phones down to appeal to lower-priced markets in hopes of attracting more partners.
Virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8.1 to offer aspects of Siri, Google Now
The virtual assistant in Windows Phone 8.1 will be a mix between Apple's Siri and Google Now, according to a report. The assistant, thought to be called "Cortana" after the AI character in the Halo video game series, will apparently replace the Bing search functionality in Windows Phone, and will use data from services such as Foursquare and Bing to give it Google Now-style contextual awareness.
Slides claim 80 percent of XAML code usable for Windows desktop, mobile apps
More evidence of Microsoft's merging of the Windows and Windows Phone lines has allegedly surfaced. Leaked images claimed to be from a Microsoft slideshow about the project appears to show it is working towards "Universal Store" apps, namely apps that use the same basic code base, but can be produced to work on both the mobile and desktop versions of Windows.
Five-inch 1080p display, quad-core 2.2GHz processor in Nokia Lumia Icon
Nokia has launched its Lumia Icon, a Windows Phone 8 device that is exclusive to Verizon. Surfacing in earlier rumors, the Lumia Icon takes most of the specifications of the Lumia 1520 and squeezes it down into a much smaller device, and is fronted by a 5-inch Full HD display with Nokia ClearBlack technology for viewing the screen in direct sunlight.
Changes to multitasking, signs of merge with Windows RT spotted
Microsoft has started to provide developers with an SDK for the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update, according to reports. At the same time, a developer has allegedly started to list the updates found in the SDK itself, with the update apparently including signs that Microsoft is working towards merging Windows Phone and Windows RT into a single platform.
Video hints at Windows Phone release, offers few clues
Nokia has started to tease what it could be showing at Mobile World Congress this month, with the release of a short but mysterious video clip. The YouTube video arrives alongside some claimed specifications for the rumored Android-powered Nokia X, a device which is also set to be revealed at the conference by the company, and suggestions the video could relate to the Lumia 929 or the Treasure Tag accessory.
Windows Phone virtual assistant could offer suggestions from Foursquare
Microsoft will use data from Foursquare in its rumored virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, thanks to a $15 million investment in the company, according to a report. The location data gleaned from Foursquare will apparently be put to use in "Cortana," a virtual assistant named after the artificial intelligence character from the Halo series of games.
Windows Phone 8.1 device from Samsung could launch this month
The Samsung SM-W750V, codenamed "Huron," will be heading to Verizon in the future, according to a leak. A new image of the rumored Windows Phone 8.1 device has surfaced along with the Verizon Wireless claim, with the timing of the leak at the same time as media invitations were sent out to the Samsung Unpacked event suggesting a launch at Mobile World Congress later this month.
Over 75 percent of market in some countries
As a platform, Android phones retook the top position in US smartphone sales during the last quarter, climbing to 50.6 percent of the market, according to new Kantar research data. iOS took 43.9 percent; Windows Phone devices were a distant third at 4.3 percent. In Europe, Android held a 68.6 percent share across the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, leaving iOS at 18.5 percent, and Windows Phone at 10.3 percent. The numbers skewed on country-to-country basis, however; in Italy, for instance, Windows Phone grabbed 17.1 percent over iOS' 12.8 percent.
Leaked user agent profile shows resolution, Internet Explorer usage
Samsung could be creating a large-screened smartphone running Windows Phone, and may be close to launching it, according to recently-surfaced information. A filing for the SM-W750V shows it as being approved by the Bluetooth SIG, with an accompanying User Agent profile suggesting it to be a device with a 1920x1080-resolution, 5-inch display.
Windows Phone update will work on current Windows Phones
Microsoft has confirmed that the next major update for its Windows Phone operating system, believed to be called Windows Phone 8.1, will in fact be compatible with all smartphones running Windows Phone 8.0. The software giant told Computerworld last week that the forthcoming update will run on current WP8 devices, assuaging fears among some consumers that the phones that they've bought over the past year would be left behind, as was the case with devices running Windows Phone 7 when Windows Phone 8 launched in October of 2012. Current Windows Phone 8 devices, though, will run the update, and Microsoft has pledged ongoing support for those handsets through the next year or more.
Sony lends more weight to VAIO Windows Phone rumors
Sony has confirmed that it is looking into branching out from its current Android-exclusive smartphone offerings and launching a device running on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. Speaking with TechRadar, Sony Mobile Europe's Pierre Perron said that the company is talking with the software giant and keeping its options open. Sony's consideration of the Windows Phone platform is due in part, Perron said, to concerns about the manufacturer's standing in a shifting mobile marketplace.
Garmin HUD+ is made to enhance safety, minimize driver distraction
Garmin has revealed a couple of upcoming in-car products at this year's edition of the CES. They included the HUD+ and two flavors of a dashboard camera, the Dash Cam 10 and Dash Cam 20.
Motorola, LG, HTC suffer setbacks
Apple and Samsung increased their shares of the US smartphone market based on unverified shipment data in the September-November period versus June-August, new ComScore data shows. Apple advanced 0.5 points to 41.2 percent, maintaining overall control; Samsung, though, gained 1.7 points to hit 26 percent, narrowing the gap. In distant third was Motorola, down 0.2 points to 6.7 percent. LG dropped the same amount to 6.5 percent, but swapped places with HTC, which dipped a full point to 6.4 percent.
Sony considering 2014 Windows Phone launch
Sony may join HTC and Samsung among the major manufacturers of devices running Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile platform. The Information reports that Sony "has considered launching a Windows Phone as soon as mid-2014," meaning that the Japanese electronics maker would have devices running both Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows Phone. Reportedly, Sony has warmed to the idea of building for Windows Phone following Microsoft's lowering of licensing fees for the platform, a move Microsoft has made in order to help it more effectively compete with Android.
Microsoft adds classic Windows desktop games to Windows Phone 8
Owners of Windows Phone 8 devices can now download updated versions of classic Windows desktop games, according to the company blog. The Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Minesweeper, and Mahjong are all listed in the Windows Phone Store, and introduce features such as Xbox Live integration, stat tracking, and the option to start a game on one device then completing it at a later time on another.
Nokia's Lumia 1520 sells out of initial Indian run
Nokia's Lumia 1520 handset appears to have seen initial success following its launch in India. The six-inch, Windows Phone 8-powered phablet has sold through all color options in that country, WinBeta notes, just days after its debut. The quick sell-through is surprising, given the Indian market's typical preference for lower cost handsets.
Low end Lumia Windows Phones now 30 percent of devices in use
Low-end Lumia devices are among the best selling in the entire Windows Phone lineup, according to new figures from AdDuplex. PhoneArena on Saturday pointed to new figures from the industry analysis firm showing that the Lumia 520 and Lumia 521 account for 30 percent of the Windows Phone devices in use around the world. In the United States, the Lumia 520 has usurped the Lumia 920 as the second-most used Windows Phone handset, and the 520 and 521 account for more than 30 percent of the U.S. Windows Phone market.
Microsoft rewards WP users with free storage
Owners of Windows Phone devices should check their connected email accounts today, as Microsoft has revealed that it is giving away free SkyDrive storage. The software giant emailed users on Friday, alerting them to an extra 20GB of free storage on its cloud service, this in addition to the 7GB of free storage Microsoft already provides for users. The free storage is available for one year, and users must take advantage of the offer by January 31, 2014.
Verizon upgrades Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, Droid Mini to Android KitKat
Verizon is rolling out Android KitKat to its current range of Droid smartphones. Owners of the Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, and Droid Mini will receive the update from today onwards, with version 4.4 of the operating system bringing a full-screen mode, camera improvements, an updated Droid Zap app, an update for Motorola Assist, and support for the Fitbit, among other items.
Microsoft tries to buy additional Samsung support
Microsoft is rumored to have made an offer of $1 billion to Samsung, with the goal of getting the South Korean tech giant to produce more and better devices running Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system. This according to Mobile Review's Eldar Murtazin, who tweeted the rumor last week. The move would be aimed at growing support for the third-place mobile OS beyond Nokia, which accounts for nearly nine out of 10 Windows Phone devices in the hands of consumers.
Microsoft looking to grow Windows share in mobile
Microsoft is considering releasing both Windows Phone and Windows RT for free in future versions as a way of pushing back against the dominance of Google's Android platform in the mobile segment. This according to The Verge, which cites unnamed sources within the company saying that the move to push the two platforms on a license-free model could happen when the software giant pushes its next revision of the Windows platform, Windows Threshold. The move would mark a considerable change for Microsoft, which has for decades relied on the licensing of its Windows operating system for a large portion of its revenue.
Microsoft-created social network gets its own mobile apps
Microsoft's own work-in-progress social network now has its own mobile apps, something the other large social networking sites have already implemented. Apps for Socl, the site opened for testing by Microsoft's Future Social Experiences Labs (FuSE Labs) this time last year, are now available to download on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
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.