Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype may be seen as a positive move by many users within the ecosystem, as it brings modern communication to Windows, Xbox, and Windows Phone, but not everyone is keen to the idea. Cisco recently challenged Microsoft’s takeover of Skype Technologies. The challenge though, has been thrown out of the European General Court.
If you are a Windows developer, you would’ve noticed the Explore Store Trends section of the Windows Store Dashboard. The trends section includes user demographics and catalog information. Since few developers can draw useful interpretation from those numbers, Windows App Builder Blog has shared interesting statistics about the most popular app categories.
If you have been waiting for Amazon to sell the Nokia Lumia 2520, the wait stops now. You can now pick it up from the online retailer. They have it in black or red for Verizon and the black one for AT&T. There are no discounts available, so the price is $399 with a new contract or $499 outright. Stock appears to be limited for the Verizon variants, but Amazon states more are on the way.
There are a handful of exchanges out there if you’re looking to trade your local currency with an electronic currency like Bitcoin. Coinbase and MtGox are two of the most popular Bitcoin exchanges, but there are a quite a few others if you want choice. Kraken (www.kraken.com) is one of those exchanges and there’s a new app by the same name in the Windows Phone Store to keep you posted to current rates for various cryptocurrencies.
We love the live tile for Today’s Word on Windows Phone 8. It lets us increase our vocabulary by displaying a new word with its definition every day. Today, the app has received an update to version 1.1. The new features appear to be in direct response to your feedbacks! Let’s take a look at the change log after the break. We also have video.
The Lumia 520 from Nokia is a superb Windows Phone 8 handset. You're looking at a dual-core CPU setup, decent display, standard rear shooter and 8GB storage, it's essentially a entry-level Windows Phone but without the sluggish performance you may expect from such a low price point on competitor platforms. The Carphone Warehouse in the UK have the Lumia 520 on sale for just £59.95 on PAYG.
If you’re a fan of AccuWeather’s app for Windows Phone, you’ll want to grab the latest version, which has just gone live in the Store.
What’s new? We have the full details of the latest update to grace Windows Phone this month.
There’s no denying the massive market share that Android currently has in the mobile landscape. Android is basically crushing the competition globally. For example, 81.0% of all handsets shipped were running Android in Q3 2013. Compare that to iOS at 12.9% and Windows Phone at 3.6% for the same period.
Why is Android so dominant? Is it the number of apps in the Google Play store? Maybe it’s the “openness” of the platform and the ability to customize every aspect of the phone? Or could it be the licensing costs that OEMs pay Google to use Android (aka nil)? It could very well be those licensing costs since Microsoft is considering doing the same with both Windows Phone and Windows RT in the future.
Microsoft has published a new post on the official Outlook blog, detailing some upcoming changes to the service that make it even easier to switch from Gmail. It's no secret that many consumers have switched from Google's email service to Outlook.com and Microsoft is looking to further push tools and services available to make the switch as seamless as possible.
These are said to be rolling out in the coming weeks, so sync on past the break to read up what's new.
Speaking of Nokia going on the offensive, a new highly stylized ad has been posted on their Germany YouTube page, daring people to think differently by switching to Lumia.
The ad, an offshoot of one from last year that targeted the iPhone 5, uses modern animation design to tell the tale of a boring life of sameness. Set in a school, the video shows students placing apples on a teacher’s desk, one after the other, in a dreary, repetitive motion. The sequence repeats numerous times but there is one child growing oranges, who finally gives one to the teacher. The teacher’s eyes light up and the children rejoice as ‘sameness’ is pushed to the side.
One of the big selling points in buying a Lumia Windows Phone, besides the unique and excellent design, is the customer support that Nokia offers. Whether they have had issues with firmware, a defective unit or just general feedback, the Finnish company has always treated their customers with respect. That hands-on sincerity has not gone unnoticed by many and it’s something that Samsung could learn a thing or two about.
Recently, an owner of a Galaxy S4 claimed that his phone caught fire during the battery charging process. The video was posted on YouTube and it quickly went viral. To be fair to Samsung, such events are super rare and are always plausible with electronics. There’s no indication that this is widespread event. Rather, it looks to be an isolated case of some defective hardware.
Xbox One is Microsoft's next-generation video console, which launched just shy of three weeks ago. The company has today announced that more than 2 million consoles have been sold to consumers worldwide, reportedly averaging over 111,111 (see what they did there?) units per day.
Microsoft previously unveiled some humorous, albeit rather pointless figures that included how many zombies have been slain in Dead Rising 3, as well as how many miles have been driven in Forza 5. We now have official numbers to play with when talking about the Xbox One launch and it's looking rather positive.
Doodle Kingdom, a fantasy brain-teaser where you can create your own kingdom with castles, knights, warlocks and dragons, has just made its way to the Windows Store. From the makers of the award winning puzzle games Doodle God & Doodle Devil, this game has also launched for Windows Phone 8 a couple of weeks ago.
Last week we announced our partnership with Geek Beat and the rest of the Mobile Nations crew to cover the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. CES is known as the largest electronics event in the world and it happens every year in Vegas. Also every year, we cover it as individual sites but this time around we’re going big.
Microsoft is firing up deal number 3 in the 12 Days of Deals promotion. Today we'll see the Nokia Lumia 1020 on AT&T have its price tag slashed. If you're not familiar with the deals, the company is offering numerous products at discounted prices over the course of the next 12 days.
Update: Lumia 1020 is out of stock online. They went super quick.
The team behind the NFC Ring, a piece of wearable technology with support for NFC, have released the official Windows Phone app. If you're not familiar with the product, think of it as a ring, but with NFC capabilities. Starting as a Kickstarter project, we became rather excited about the possibilities this technology could unlock with Windows Phone.
Should you be looking to pick up a NFC Ring for yourself or friends, you'll definitely want to check out the official app. Head on past the break for all the details.
Betfred Lotto (www.betfred.com/lotto) is an addictive gambling experience, which has just launched on Windows 8. From the UK bookmaker Betfred, this official app opens up access to a wide variety of lotto draws, including the UK, Irish, Euromillios and 49's. Should you be a fan of placing the odd bet or two to see if you've got the lucky charm to win, you may wish to check out Betfred Lotto for your tablet and PC.
It was just four days ago that Rovio, and by extension we, teased you about Angry Birds Go! arriving for Windows Phone 8. The link for the latest and greatest in Angry Birds gaming was leaked and passed around rapidly. But the sinking realization of the app’s inability to connect to Rovio’s servers hit quickly and many were left with just a useless icon on their device.
Tonight (or even early morning for some of you), that tale has come to an end as version 1.0 of a true working version of the game is now live in the Store. That's just shy of under two-weeks after iOS got the game, which isn't too bad for platform parity.
Do you want a Nokia device running Android? According to The Verge, Nokia has been building it under the code name, Normandy. It runs a forked version of Android on some really low-end hardware similar to what Amazon does with the Kindle Fire.
The Verge’s sources say:
Normandy is designed as an Asha equivalent to push low-cost devices with access to more traditional smartphone apps — something the company has struggled to achieve for its Series 40-powered Asha line.
6tag, the popular third-party Instagram application for Windows Phone has just received an update. Version 2.2.4 does not list a change log at the Windows Phone Store, but we have reached out to Rudy Huyn, the developer of 6tag.
If you picked up a Dell Venue 8 Pro 8-inch tablet recently, especially with that Microsoft Store deal yesterday, you may want to consider the Dell Tablet Wireless Keyboard, which appears to be now available. Well, now available to order, as the page says “Usually Ships: 3-5 Weeks”.
Throw in the $15 discount using coupon code QG3G$33HH3QP0? and you can knock the price down from $99 to $85. That is still a bit pricey but it may well be worth it if you live-and-die by the Venue for a daily device.
If you’re a professional or semiprofessional…something, then you may be a user of LinkedIn and its companion app for Windows Phone. The popular social-networking site for your work history and resume is an important tool for many looking to network with others in their field. It’s like Facebook but without all the annoying baby photos.
Windows Phone users have had a decent LinkedIn app experience for a while now, but the last update was for version 1.5 back in April. Today, version 1.6 is on the Store and with comes a few new changes to help mirror what you get on the web for features.
City-builders are those sorts of games that you can literally pour hundreds of hours (and/or dollars) into, whether you have a daily commute or some free time to spare each day. One such title is Undersky: The Eternal Saga, which has just been released on Windows Phone 8. The game, developed by SteamWarShip and published Renatus Media, is slightly different as it offers a strategic combat twist to the familiar gameplay.
Move on past the break for the full read through.
December is shaping up to be a great month for Gameloft fans. Last week, the mobile publishing giant released Dungeon Hunter 4 for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Mobile Windows platforms need all the action-RPGs they can get. Dungeon Hunter is also one of 15 titles that Gameloft announced back in August.
Another one of those titles – perhaps the most highly anticipated one – is Despicable Me: Minion Rush. 3D endless runners are crazy popular, to say nothing of people’s love for the Despicable Me movies. Those folks’ hearts should be a flutter today because Minion Rush is finally available on Windows Phone 8!
This release coincides with the Despicable Me 2 Blu-ray and DVD, which just came out today. The promised Windows 8 version of Minion Rush is also now available. Neither Windows version has Xbox support, which should come as no surprise after Dungeon Hunter 4 and Asphalt 8 released without it.