Archive for the ‘Windows Phone’ Category

The Windows Phone 8 update was, despite a lot of coverage, quite underwhelming in terms of features, especially given how long Microsoft had spent applying improvements. However, from what we’ve been seeing through leaks and word-of-mouth, the forthcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update will provide the OS with some much-needed rejuvenation, and as well as a whole new Swype-like keyboard, notification center and other such niceties, the next update looks also set to feature Cortana, Microsoft’s very own Siri / Google Now incarnate. Today, new screenshots have emerged of Cortana in action.

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You can now download Galaxy S5 wallpapers for your iPhone, Android and Windows Phone device. Direct download links can be found right here.

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We’ve seen designers and digital artists share their own personal vision of what the future of Apple’s iOS will look like. We’ve witnessed what a potential touch-screen iMac could look like and we’ve even see a number of imaginative pieces that outline how a potential iOS or Android powered smartwatch could work. It’s very rare that designers, or general users for that matter, take the time to reimagine what Microsoft’s mobile operating system could be like, but that’s exactly what we have here with a Windows Phone 9 concept.

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The quality of mobile gaming is definitely improving, but some of us are old enough to remember the excitement that Nintendo’s original Entertainment System (NES) and Game Boy brought into our lives. We’ve seen emulators galore being released over the last few weeks that bring the pleasure of the old school Nintendo experience to our iOS and Android devices, meaning that it shouldn’t really come as a shock that a new Game Boy emulator from Ben Midi has appeared for iOS, Android and Windows users.

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Having taken the wraps off the new Nokia X family, Stephen Elop also took the opportunity to announce that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) would be headed to Windows Phone, along with Adobe Photoshop Express. The instant messaging service, which only arrived for iOS and Android a few months back after years as a BlackBerry-only feature, will be releasing a version for the Windows Phone Store in due course, although at this moment, it is unclear as to when exactly it will become available.

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We’re all firmly in mobile mode with Mobile World Congress kicking off over in Barcelona, but that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from letting everyone know what the current state of play is when it comes to an update to Windows 8.1, and the new Windows Phone 8.1.

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In a concerted effort to turn its mobile fortunes around, Microsoft seems to be taking the logical step of hand-picking some of the best features of both Android and iOS, amounting to an increasingly exciting Windows Phone 8.1 update. We’ve already heard that a new Swype-like keyboard will enhance the typing experience on the Redmond’s mobile ecosystem, and following yesterday’s video demo of the new Action Center notifications system, it has today become apparent that Cortana, the voice assistant feature set to debut with WP 8.1, will combine some of the strengths of both Google Now and Apple’s Siri.

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Windows Phone 8.1 is due to hit the scene very soon, and judging by the recent spate of leaks and information regarding the software update, we have some significant improvements to look forward to. Following on from yesterday’s report that a revamped, Swype-like keyboard would offer dramatic improvements as far as typing is concerned, the new notification center, dubbed ‘Action Center,’ has been given a video demonstration.

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After being forced to ditch its SkyDrive name following a dispute with the telecommunication and TV giant BSkyB, Microsoft has today begun the rebranding process that will see SkyDrive become OneDrive. Existing users won’t notice a great deal other than the new name, but Microsoft is now also offering people who use its service the ability to increase their free storage capacity via referrals a la Dropbox, with the potential to earn an extra 5GB of space.

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Microsoft is expected to drop the eagerly-awaited Windows Phone 8.1 update in the near future, and with several features already having been revealed, it looks as though the Redmond giant is making great strides to improve the keyboard typing experience. According to a report over at The Verge, which cites “sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans,” the company is in the process of developing a greatly-enhanced keyboard which will offer a broader feature set similar to that of the popular Swype Android touch-type pad.

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Just when you thought that the fashion world couldn’t get any more weird, someone decided to throw the smartphone industry into the mix, just to see what kind of un-Godly concoction they could come up with. The result? A skirt made from Nokia 1020 and 1520 smartphones.

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It’s a big year for Windows Phone, with the smartphone market hotter than ever before and Nokia reportedly on the verge of making Android a part of its family with the Nokia X Normandy smartphone. Microsoft’s mobile version of Windows has long been rumored to be on the verge of becoming a real competitor for iOS and Android, and 2014 needs to be the year that Redmond puts Windows Phone into overdrive.

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Although Windows Phone, as discussed earlier, is a struggling ecosystem in mobile space, the devices currently being churned out for the platform are every bit worthy of recognition. Nokia, even before it was acquired by Microsoft, provided a continual stream of great handsets for WP users to behold, and has today unveiled yet another addition to its high-end line-up. The Lumia Icon, which will launch on Verizon Wireless in The States, packs a similarly high-end performance to that of the established releases like the Lumia 1020 and 925, and as the Finnish company’s first major release of the year so far, we’ll be looking at the key specs and form factor after the break.

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According to sources of The Verge, Microsoft could be toying with the idea of bringing Android app support to both Windows and Windows Phone, in a move that could, in theory, help breathe new life into a mobile platform that is patently bereft of apps. Of course, such a drastic move would cause controversy, no less because it could spell the beginning of the end of Windows Phone as a mobile platform, but as the Redmond continually struggles to entice developers into creating apps for the Windows Phone Store, options are becoming increasingly limited.

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Although Microsoft has a nice, intuitive mobile OS and a decent selection of handsets on which to run it, Windows Phone is missing one major component – customers. As such, we’ve seen a number of promotional, trade-in offers over the past couple of weeks, including a free Lumia 520 / 521 for those willing to pay $100 for an Xbox Music pass. But if you’re in the market for something a little more high-end, the latest offer from the software maker, which will net you a free Lumia 1020 or Lumia 1520 (albeit on contract) in exchange for an old Galaxy S2 / iPhone 4/4s, may just prove too tempting.

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It’s no secret that Microsoft is rather struggling in the mobile industry, with the uptake and general market share of Windows Phone devices having not improved a great deal since its inception as Windows Phone 7. But Microsoft is trying its utmost to get folks on board, and right now, is offering a free Nokia Lumia 520 as leverage to anybody willing to purchase an Xbox Music pass. Although the device is mid-range in every sense of the phrase, it’s still a free handset, and since it nicely ties in with the Xbox / Windows family, surely any prospective Xbox Music subscriber would find some use for it.

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Samsung already took a stab at the Windows Phone 8 market with the ATIV range, and is now back with a bigger, badder model for Windows Phone 8.1. According to a snap posted by the ever-reliable Evleaks Twitter handle, the device is codenamed “Huron” (model SM-W750V), and as well as looking very much similar to the Galaxy S4 (as the ATIV S rather did the Galaxy S3), it will also be carried by Verizon Wireless in the United States.

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When it comes to major mobile gaming releases, it’s fair to say that Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform is frequently left out in the cold. But Rockstar Games, having recently ported GTA: San Andreas to Apple’s iOS as well as Google’s Android, has finally brought said title to the Windows Phone Store. It was supposed to arrive last month at the same time as the Big Two, but despite taking an additional few weeks, it’s finally ready for prime time. Check out the details after the break!

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The last few revision of iOS have seen many big features arrive to the scene, but one of the quieter entries, if you’ll forgive the pun, is the Do Not Disturb utility with iOS 6. Now, something similar has arrived over at the Windows Phone Store in the form of an app called Quiet Hours, allowing you to readily prevent your device from bothering you when you’re asleep, in a meeting, or other formal or informal event where discretion is paramount.

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After being originally teased back in October of last year, the Beats Music app is now available to download for iOS, Android and Windows Phone through the relevant app stores. Beats, a company who take their music very seriously, are describing the new service as a place being “curated by people who believe music is emotion and life”. The differentiating factor that exists within Beats Music appears to be the fact that the app and service is built around musical customization that exists to try and present subscribers with a perfectly curated playlist of music based on their current tastes and moods.

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