Microsoft recently celebrated the start of a new year – at least for those who watch Microsoft. July marks the start of the fiscal year for Microsoft and today they’ve shared their financial results for their fourth quarter of 2013. The big news? The company had a 10 percent increase in revenue for the same quarter the previous year. The Redmond company reported $19.90 billion in revenue for Q4 2013 as they enter their phase as a devices-and-services company.
Building off of the hit franchise and 18 months in the making, Halo: Spartan Assault is Microsoft’s attempt to capitalize off of the famous first shooter game for mobile. Instead of just “porting” the FPS model over though, a paradigm that is difficult to translate onto tablets and smartphones, Microsoft and 343 Industries opted for a third-person overhead view, which is more arcade style. The game’s timeline takes place in the four years between Halo 3 and 4.
In addition, the developers spent months honing game play to make the frame rate as high (and smooth) as possible and just as importantly, ensured that the game controls were fluid and flexible. From our last 24 hours playing with it, we can confirm that as a “casual gamer”, we found the game highly accessible and extremely well-polished.
If you're not familiar with In Two, it's a unique song and artist guessing game that utilises the Nokia Music service. Developed by Scott Lovegrove, an update has been pushed to the store that bundles numerous fixes alongside a few enhancements. Let's jump right in and see what's new in version 220.127.116.11.
We all know that feeling. You read about an awesome app on Windows Phone Central and go to download only to see the Windows Phone Store throw up some error right in your face. You want to rage and throw your phone at a wall, but you don’t. And sometimes it’s not an app you want, but a new song or album and well you know where we’re going with this. Yup, Xbox Music isn’t working for some folks. Details after the break.
Splashbox is a new photography app for our Windows Phone that lets you add a creative flair to your pictures through various color filters that can be selectively applied. When you import a photo to edit, Splashbox applies a black and white filter to the image.
Basically giving you a blank slate to re-apply the original colors by touch or choose from a number of filters to add some splash to things.
A lot of you have cried foul over no Halo: Spartan Assault release yet for today, though we know for a fact it’s coming. Indeed, Nokia US on their Facebook just posted the exact time at which it will go live: 4PM Pacific Time (click here for your local time zone).
That’s not too far as it’ll happen in less than two hours. Game on!
Source: Facebook; Thanks, A A A, for the tip!
It should be clear now that OEMs and partners have begun to roll out the second Windows Phone 8 OS update for the year, dubbed ‘GDR2’, to various devices. With the Samsung ATIV S and HTC 8X getting the update in the last 48 hours, it’s obvious that things are now moving.
Earlier, we told you that T-Mobile US was testing the GDR2 OS update for the Nokia Lumia 810. On that device we were unsure if it actually will be updated versus the carrier just testing it. However, we can now definitively say that another device, the HTC 8X will get the update and it is scheduled to happen within the next four days, on July 22nd.
All of us use the World Wide Web every day to connect to our favorite services and we increasingly do so through mobile devices and tablets. According to Microsoft sources, everyday an additional 3.6 million devices are activated worldwide. If that is not enough proof to portray that we live in a connected world then consider this; that number is five times larger than the number of babies born each day. Because of this global expansion rate, Microsoft has introduced a concept known as “The Companion Web”.
One issue that has been bugging some users for a while now is the inability to delete temporary files on their Windows Phone 8 devices. Nokia got around this by building in their Storage Check app and even Huawei is reportedly making an app to do the same.
Now, after reports of the GDR2 (and firmware) update rolling out for unbranded HTC 8X owners today, the ability to delete temporary files is evidently built right into the OS.
This morning Nokia reported its financial results for the June quarter. Overall, Nokia is hanging in there. The company is seeing much stronger results from its ownership in Nokia Siemens Networks, while the business of making phones has not yet returned to profitability.
As far as Lumia goes, Nokia managed to sell 7.4 million of these Windows-based smartphones compared to 5.6 million last quarter. Naturally, with BlackBerry having shipped only 6.8 million phones last quarter (a number that has been in decline), the media jumped all over this to declare Nokia the victor as the #3 player in smartphones.
Ting is offering the 8XT for $373 and is listed as shipping in 2-4 weeks. While the price sounds a little on the high side, keep in mind that Ting's pricing lacks any contractual discounts.
When Microsoft’s Xbox One was revealed back in May, we weren’t positive if users would be able to start playing their latest video game before it finished downloading. This week a Microsoft representative confirmed to Polygon that users would in fact be able to "play games while they’re still downloading to the console."
Windows Phone 8 believe it or not isn’t quite perfect. Its close, but things like the other storage issue put a cloud or two over a relatively sunny platform. When high-end devices like the Lumia 925 ship with only 16GB of storage for all your apps, games, and music you expect to utilize it all. The other storage issue has impacted many of you. We’ve heard of future fix coming from Microsoft, but that was last in March we heard. Nokia took matters into their own hand and released Storage Check to temporarily help Lumia owners and their storage woes. It works by clearing all the temporary files.
But for everyone else there is Shrink Storage, an app in the Store that helps to give you back some of your limited space. It recently had an update adding some useful new features. Let’s check it out.
Windows Phone Central has begun to receive reports from users that their HTC 8X (UK Virgin Mobile and non-branded) are receiving updates today. The update, most likely a combo of firmware and the coveted GDR2 OS update (build 10327), will enable things like FM Radio, Data Sense (carrier dependent) and other improvements. This update follows Samsung's recent ATIV S update for unlocked devices.
We have not found an update for our AT&T-branded 8X, though we’ll update this article as more information comes in.
For those with the 8X, you may want to head into Settings > Phone Update and use the force-check to see if something is waiting for you. If you do get an update, please post your carrier (if any) and any new changes in comments. You can also find more information and discuss the update in our support forums: http://forums.windowscentral.com/htc-8x/
Thanks, Steffen S., Dennis A., and Plasmid, for the tips!
While everyone focuses in on the Lumia 1020, 925 and 928 these days, T-Mobile once had an interesting Windows Phone 8 device dubbed the Lumia 810. Exclusive to the T-Mobile, the phone was an off-shoot of the Lumia 820 but it was more blocky and it only came in black. The phone never received much support, evidently not selling well, and it was recently discontinued, leaving many current owners wondering about future updates.
What we can tell you is that the T-Mobile is testing GDR2 right now on the Lumia 810 (see image below). What we can’t say is if this update is definitely coming. That’s because there’s a difference between testing a software update for a phone and actually signing off on it for distribution.
Microsoft is offering 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions for free with Office 365 Home Premium and University annual subscriptions, as well as the physical boxed products. All purchases before September 28th will be eligible for the free Xbox Live upgrade. If you're yet to get the new Office suite and own an Xbox, now is a perfect opportunity to get stuck in.
Results of the largest mobile developer study, spanning 115 countries and 6,000 participating developers has shown that more developers plan to start developing apps and games for Windows Phone than any competing platform. That may sound like something to celebrate, but we have to remember that 71 percent of developers who took part in the study already have work published for Android and 56 percent on iOS. That said, it's positive they're showing interest in Microsoft's mobile OS.
We all know that Nokia Lumias tend to record the best audio in addition to photos and video. That’s due to their inclusion of high-amplitude audio capture (HAAC) microphones on their various devices, including their entry level Lumias.
Indeed, the Lumia 1020 has three microphones (like the 920) all positioned for ideal recording, except now Nokia has enabled full stereo ability—a feature that will be coming to other 9xx Lumias in the future via an update.
Practically everybody who games on Windows Phone 8 is either anxiously awaiting today’s release of Halo: Spartan Assault (carrier issues notwithstanding) or knee-deep in last week’s release of Order & Chaos Online (don’t miss our Beginner’s Guide!). But some players are still stuck on Windows Phone 7 or just won’t pay seven bucks for a game, and those poor souls need stuff to play too. Won’t the Xbox Red Stripe Deal of the Week come to their rescue?
Sure, I guess! This week’s Xbox sale game is a repeat as usual, having gone on sale back in October last year. geoDefense Swarm from Critical Thought Games is on sale for 99 cents, down from $2.99. The indie Red Stripe game deal is 10tons’ Tennis in the Face for $1.49. In the non-game zone we have a news reader app called Collector from Squallstar Studio, on sale for 99 cents.
Head past the break for details and Store links!
One of our readers tipped us that Nokia and Microsoft are pushing out updates for your offline maps on Windows Phone 8. Indeed, when we fired up our Lumia 920 and checked we were notified of 209.8MB in updates (CT, NY and MA), meaning they’re refreshing whole states in the US (our tipster had over 805MB). (Edit, turns out these aren't new-new, but for some of you, you may never had updated, so here's how to do it).
To see if your maps need updating, simply launch your respective mapping app and check for those updates (details below). It will only take a few minutes, but you’ll need to be on Wi-Fi to grab ‘em.
Over the last few days, a few of you noticed that Nokia’s Cinemagraph app, for making cool animated GIF-like clips, was pulled and hidden in the Store. The reason seems to be on purpose as many users were on the crucial uploading and sharing aspect of the app.
The fact that even affiliate stores (basically authorized resellers that associate with the carrier) are taking stock of the phone this early shows that Nokia has learned a few lessons since the Lumia 920 launch: announce and ship within two weeks, have enough stock in the colors available to keep people happy.
Nokia has today published its interim financial report for Q2 2013 and while the company has seemingly won the battle against BlackBerry, Nokia is still posting losses.
The report shows Lumia Windows Phone sales going up to 7.4 million in the quarter, a significant improvement on BlackBerry's 6.8 million. Revenues of this quarter stand at €5.69 billion ($7.4 billion - matching the number of Lumias sold), down from $9.2 billion the same time last year. Today's report has overall loss at €115 million ($150 million).
Earlier this month the popular photo sharing, editing and camera application Fhotoroom was updated for Windows Phone 8. We were told that an update was in the works for the Windows Phone 7.x version and today that update went live.
The new user interface the Windows Phone 8 version has been enjoying is now part of the Windows Phone 7.x version. You also have the bandwidth saver option with the version 3.2 update that allows you to limit on uploaded images when you're running low on available data or in an area with slow data connections.