Microsoft has a few hurdles to jump before it can finalize the acquisition of Nokia’s handset division. The biggest hurdle? Regulatory approval in China. As we reported a few days ago, Samsung and Google have expressed concern to the Chinese government over potential higher patent fees from the Microsoft-Nokia deal. Turns out Korea smartphone manufactures and the Korean government aren’t too keen on the idea either.
If you’re in California today, you may have heard an AMBER alert go off on your phone. If so, it probably really caught your attention. AMBER stands for America's Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response Alerts, named after the late Amber Hagerman, and they are part of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system on US and other carriers.
With Windows Phone 8 (and iOS and certain Android devices), users can go into their settings to enable or disable such notifications, or select which ones they want to receive. What types are there? What do they mean? We’ll explain.
But first, let’s tell you how to find them, as they’re kind of buried in the Windows Phone menu system.
Sendtiment is a popular, easy-to-use greeting card app for Windows Phone 8. The app has over one hundred greeting cards in the free version and an additional four hundred plus cards in a paid variant of the app. The developer behind Sendtiment has just kicked off a 'Lucky Selfie' contest to celebrate Saint Paddy's Day, which will see one lucky winner bagging a $50 Xbox gift card.
Microsoft has had a recent alteration with its leadership, namely Satya Nadella replacing Steve Ballmer to head up the massive company. According to a Polygon report and contrary to rumour, the company is still focused on supporting Xbox and pushing the video game console in numerous markets. Phil Spencer from Microsoft Game Studios states the dedication to Xbox at Microsoft has not changed.
Reliance Communications, one of the leading operators in India, has launched Zero Plan for customers who are looking to buy Nokia Lumia 1320 or Nokia Lumia 1520 at affordable payment plans with bundled voice and data packages.
The plan offers unlimited STD and local calls, 3000 SMS per month, unlimited 3G data, and roaming for free bundled with the device at zero down payment.
In case you still didn’t agree that Windows Phone is the third ecosystem in the smartphone industry, the latest validation comes from comScore’s report of the U.S. smartphone subscriber market share ending January 2014.
If there’s one thing we can all agree on is that Windows Phone has a perception problem, especially in the US and Canada. The phone hardware is often reviewed favorably, but critics tend to ding the OS for lack of apps. This so-called ‘app-gap’ has become less of problem as of late 2013, but the perception is still there. Also, MIA apps like Sonos don’t help either.
Nokia’s new ad, showcased on their Canadian YouTube channel, does a really good job of breaking it all down for the consumer. In fact, it’s one of the best we’ve seen. With bold bright graphics, the narrator talks about how impressive the Windows Phone store has become, highlighting things like UI design, Live Tiles, Windows Phone exclusive apps, and how major titles like Vine, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are all here already.
Sonos (www.sonos.com) is a pretty wild service. Not to be confused with Songza, which also works on Sonos (and is just as awesome), Sonos is a ‘Multi-Room Music System’ and it relies on HIFI-WIFI speakers placed throughout your abode. You can then stream music to all or just some of your speakers, using various sources like Songza, Pandora, Amazon Cloud Player, Beats Music etc.
There’s also a familiar story here: on Android and iOS, users get free software to control their Sonos Zones at home. Windows 8 and Windows Phone? Not so much.
Nokia is keeping its promise of ‘coming soon’ at the time of announcing both the Nokia X and Nokia X+ at Mobile World Congress 2014 last month. India, an emerging smartphone market, is one of the primary markets for the Nokia X series.
A press invite to "Xperience a new beginning" has been fired out today, marking March 10, 2014 as the launch of Nokia X in India.
At this rate we might not have much surprises left for Build 2014 next month in San Francisco. We’ve learned a lot about the big picture for the future of Windows Phone ever since the beta Windows Phone 8.1 SDK was leaked. Since then it’s been a steady stream of information about the upcoming update.
Earlier this week we finally got out first look at Cortana in action on video. Earlier today some more Windows Phone 8.1 information made its way onto the web. Today we’re learning a bit more about the Action Center in Windows Phone 8.1.
It was just last Friday that we learned most of the specs for the upcoming Nokia Lumia 630. The device is codenamed “Moneypenny” and is expected to be a budget friendly device. It’ll also be one of the first Windows Phone 8.1 handsets launched. Which is why it’ll pick up a lot of attention. Twitter leaker evleaks has just shared another image of the upcoming device. Orange is the new black right?
The Nokia Lumia 625 is the company's most affordable Lumia Windows Phone with 4G LTE connectivity and a large 4.7-inch display. The device is heading to Three Ireland later this month, according to a report over on Nokia News Ireland.
Microsoft has launched UK AppChallenge for consumers in the region to win prizes by downloading and enjoying apps from both the Windows and Windows Phone app stores. Hundreds of thousands of apps are available on both platforms, but highlighted ones from participating developers will bag consumers points to put towards weekly prizes. Not only that, but this provides developers with free promotion.
Microsoft’s is introducing Cortana in Windows Phone 8.1. Out of all the new features in Windows Phone 8.1 it’s the one we’re most excited about. As you probably know, Cortana is the forthcoming intelligent personal assistant that will debut in Windows Phone 8.1, but probably seep into other Microsoft products like Windows 8 and Xbox One. We’ve seen screenshots of the UI before, but the video below is the first time the public is seeing it for the first time.
The Skype team today announced worldwide availability of Skype for Outlook.com. Previously, the feature was only available in select regions as the team trialled Outlook.com functionality, but now we're pleased to report that Outlook.com users will now be able to easily connect with Skype contacts while checking through emails. To make the announcement that much sweeter, the Skype team has also included HD video calls.
The Nokia Lumia 625 is the most affordable Windows Phone with 4G LTE capabilities, although the Lumia 1320 is priced competitively. Here in the UK, should you be a part of a business and be actively seeking a new deal for smartphones, O2 has a sweet deal which includes the Lumia 625 from Nokia and the Asus Vivo Tab Smart Windows 8 tablet.
Kickstarter is a great place for creative projects to get funding. It’s the largest crowdfunding platform on the web. Just today, it passed the one billion dollars mark in pledges across its user base. That’s $1,000,000,000 pledged by over 5.7 million people, with over half of that coming in the past year. We’ve covered a few projects on Kickstarter. One recent project we covered was the FreedomCase for your Surface. Here’s a cool project with an upcoming app for Windows Phone – Dash, the Wireless Smart Headphones.
Microsoft is set to release Windows Phone 8.1 later this year, which will include Cortana a personal assistant that will rival the likes of Siri and Google Now. The Verge has today published some screenshots, showing how Cortana will look on Windows Phone, replacing the built-in Bing search feature. There's some bad news for those who were expecting to see the animated character from the Halo universe.
Google and Samsung have joined Chinese mobile phone manufacturers in expressing concerns to Chinese courts about Microsoft's purchase of Nokia. Redmond is set to absorb Nokia's phone business for 7.2 billion dollars, integrating the division responsible for Lumia, Asha and X device families. The reasons behind this move are fears that the deal will result in higher patent licensing costs.
Windows Phone 8.1 is only a few weeks away. So with that, let’s jump onto the latest rumor floating around today, namely the one dealing with background images on the Start screen.
There was some confusion about this feature – codenamed ‘shadowbox’ by Microsoft –with people believing that it was the background of the Start screen that would be skinned. As we cautioned in original report, that was close but not exactly how it will be (our lede image was the clue).
Last week a woman says she was attacked in a bar for wearing Google Glass. It took place in Molotov’s, a San Francisco bar in the Lower Haight district. It’s an area where you’ll find a lot of young artists and post-college vagabonds idling about. Sarah Slocum was the victim and the incident a real-life manifestation of the comment section of a tech site.