Vector is Mobile Nations' cross-site, cross-platform analysis show where we discuss all the biggest stories in tech. On this week's episode Kevin Michaluk of Mobile Nations joins Rene to talk about Facebook’s $16 billion WhatsApp acquisition, not mistaking products for businesses, the value of user-base, the mobile hierarchy of needs, BBM’s missed opportunity, LINE, WeChat, Kik, and more.
Back a few months ago, Nokia entered the hyper competitive tablet market with the Lumia 2520 (review), a Windows RT device that has received a lot of high praise, even if limited availability. That device also had some exclusive software on board, including a full HERE Maps suite.
Today, Nokia has announced that a new and improved version of HERE Maps is coming to all Windows 8.1 devices over the coming days. HERE Maps have always been really fun to use, but with the syncing ability between Lumias phones and HERE Maps on a PC, it should take it to the next level.
Nokia has today pushed out an update for its Glance screen. This Lumia exclusive feature enables consumers to add images and display the clock while the Windows Phone screen is locked. It's possible to configure the Glance screen to display at intervals, as well as setting night modes, but Nokia is extending functionality even further.
This latest system app release introduces a new feature for consumers, making it possible for custom messages to be created for display when the screen is locked.
Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Fitbit Apps
Many of us took on New Year’s resolutions to get into better shape, lose weight or another fitness/health goal. In pursuing these goals, you may look to the Fitbit line of activity trackers to help you manage your fitness goals. The Fitbit line of devices track your steps, distance traveled, stairs climbed and sleep. The overall Fitbit system helps you manage additional activities that aren't registered with the device, your diet and weight. From the pocketable Fitbit One to the digital display of the Fitbit Force, these little devices are fantastic fitness oriented devices.
While Fitbit has released “official” apps over on iOS, we are still waiting for the official Windows Phone version. Not all is lost though in that Fitbit has made their API available to developers and we have a few capable un-official Fitbit apps in the Windows Phone Store. This week’s Windows Phone Central roundup will focus on a few of the top rated Fitbit apps available for Windows Phone. Hopefully it will not be long until Fitbit releases an official app but in the meantime, these third party alternatives aren’t too shabby.
The Surface Pro 2 is an incredible machine. Those who have on love them. The biggest complaint against the Surface Pro 2 is the stock issue. Since launch, those wanting a Surface Pro 2 have had an impossible time getting their hands on one. Those who pre-ordered didn’t see them arrive for months at a time. Good news if you’re still hunting, the Surface Pro 2 is back in stock at the Microsoft Store.
Stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld's been back on the prowl recently with his oddball and descriptively-titled Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, though his eponymous "show about nothing" has never been far from the public consciousness (see: iToilet and Google Wallet). Seinfeld himself showed up on The Tonight Show this week and he, as he's prone to do, talked about how we use our smartphones and the way they've changed how we communicate.
Want a new Windows Phone? Ride Amtrak on a somewhat regular basis? Then you, my friend, have the chance to win a brand new Windows Phone from Amtrak. There’s a contest going on right now with the folks over at Amtrak that we missed covering sooner. They’ve already given out two Windows Phone devices, but there’s still a two more up for grabs. Full details below on this contest open to U.S. residents.
With only a few days before Mobile World Congress, some recent photos purporting to show Nokia’s X phone, aka ‘project Normandy’, have made their debut online. Nokia X is the supposed name for the low-cost, entry level device, which is similar to the Lumia 520.
If you're still seeking a Windows Phone deal, check out Groupon where you can pick up the 8X (Verizon refurbished and unlocked) for $149.
Earlier this week we saw the refresh of Bing apps for Windows Phone, including News, Weather, Finance and more. Those were rather large updates as they brought account syncing and sharing options, making the Bing apps infinitely more useful for everyday use.
Today, Bing News had an update, in fact, if you open up the app you may even get an alert telling you as much – a neat little feature.
Preparing for the epic Titanfall launch, Microsoft has set out to release two different updates to their Xbox One console before the March 11 date arrives. The first patch went out this month, and introduced a few new features; along with a bug, we are calling “the black screen of (temporary) death”. The next update that will be coming in the first few days of March is being handed out to a select few individuals for early testing and one of those people could be you.
O2 has scored the Nokia Lumia 1320 in Ireland, according to a report over on Nokia News Ireland. Announcements surrounding the Windows Phone 'phablet' have yet to take place with units being promoted on mobile networks.
We know there are a handful of you out there who are big fans of Tapatalk. It’s one of the most widely used apps on all mobile platforms for accessing Internet forums. It was early last summer that the official Tapatalk app for Windows Phone was launched. Fast forward to today and we finally have Tapatalk for Windows 8. Let’s check it out.
Remember Microsoft’s Windows Phone App Studio that is currently in beta? It’s the killer program that allows you to unlock your phone and create basic apps using a web tool. That web tool is powerful enough to let novice users and developers create simple apps. More experience developers might use it to quickly create a prototype of an app. It launched way back in early August of last year, but has seen a few updates since. Today we’re looking at another update to App Studio, so let’s check out what’s new and different this round.
The story line has you leading a dying town riddled with pollution, trash piles everywhere and beaches that are covered in sludge and other debris. Your mission is to turn things around and build a thriving ecologically friendly town.
In just tinkering with Nokia’s Modern Mayor, the game comes across with a bit of appeal and should be an entertaining gaming title for our Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices.
With Windows Phone 8.1 only five weeks out, there’s not too much left to revealed, except one big feature: Cortana.
The digital voice assistant to rival Apple’s Siri and Google’s Now service is expected to premier with Windows Phone 8.1, and while a few facts have leaked out so far, the Verge has now gone into more detail about Cortana, including its Notebook core.
According to the Verge's Tom Warren, Cortana will have a ‘Notebook feature’ that stores “location data, behaviors, personal information, reminders, and contact information”, but only as the user allows. This is to ensure that privacy takes priority over efficiency of the assistant, meaning Cortana won’t collect, store or use information about you without your consent. Indeed, information can reportedly be edited or even deleted later by the user.
The news of Facebook acquiring WhatsApp for an enormous pile of money is front and center in the mobile communication industry today, and for good reason. Having watched WhatsApp grow from nothing into a cross platform winner over the last 5 years and doing a darn good job of executing on a growth plan, I'm impressed with what they've done. And while I was shocked to see the deal's valuation, I've taken some time to think about it rationally, and it might not be that insane.
Yesterday we reported on the possible announcement and availability dates for Microsoft’s Xbox One Media Remote. As of today, we can confirm the previously mentioned reports and provide more information about the Media Remote itself. Wondering what the remote will be able to control and exactly when you will be able to pick it up? Check after the break for all the details you could possibly endure about a remote.
Last year, Windows Phone Central broke the news that Artifex Mundi would be bringing a puzzle platformer called Deadlings to Windows Phone and Windows 8. Artifex Mundi is most well-known for its hidden object puzzle adventure games like the Nightmares from the Deep series, making Deadlings something of a departure for the Polish publisher.
We revealed a total of three games in our interview with Artifex Mundi, including Enigmatis and Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren’s Call. Both of those games have come out on mobile Windows platforms, and now we can scratch the last game off the list as well. Deadlings has officially launched on Windows Phone and Windows 8 – before it heads to other platforms!
The Nokia Lumia 925 has a unique design compared to other Lumia Windows Phones, but in case you wish to add even more personalisation to your smartphone, Finnish company Lastu has released a wooden skin for the Lumia 925.
We've been seeing some really great deals on the T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 925 lately, but this latest one at ShopHQ takes the cake. They are offering the 16GB Lumia 925, along with a bundle of accessories, for only $230.00. That includes free shipping and no annual contract.
The Lumia 520 (and T-Mobile’s lesser known variant, the Lumia 521, in the US), was the sleeper hit of 2013 for Windows Phone 8. Announced nearly one year ago at Mobile World Congress, it seems apropos to see what it’s accomplished in that 12 months.
As it turns out, we don’t think anyone predicted just how strong the Lumia 520 would have become. Due to its low cost, where it’s often found well below $90 off-contract, great build quality and all around solid user experience, the Lumia 520 has become representative of the Windows Phone ecosystem.