Careem, a chauffeur-driven car booking service in the Middle East, has just launched their official app for Windows Phone. The service allows you to order hassle-free rides in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam from your smartphone. You can track rides in real-time, pay with credit cards, and access receipts online. Careem originally launched in Google Play and the App Store. Now, Windows Phone users can join the fun.
We use smartphones nearly every minute of every day, and that can be an issue, specifically for batteries. If there’s one area in tech that we haven’t seen any innovation – not for lack of trying – it’s batteries. Sure they’ve grown in size and chipsets have become more power efficient, but for the most part, charging is still charging in 2014.
Qualcomm today announced its next-generation mobile processors for the Snapdragon 800 family – 810 and 808. These new chips are designed to deliver even better performance and delight compared to what’s currently available to handset vendors today. The main improvements with these two chips is the 64bit architecture and Cat 6 LTE.
Though the chips aren’t expect to hit the public domain before 2015, it’s interesting to see what Qualcomm is working on. This Cat 6 LTE support will depend on carriers and Qualcomm has opted to use ARM core designs and not its own Krait. These new processors will introduce support for 4K displays with the new Adreno 430 GPU.
The Snapdragon 810 will combine a quad core ARM Cortex-A57 CPU and Cortex-A53 to provide ample power. The 808 on-the-other-hand will have two ARM Cortex-A57 cores paired with a quad Cortex-A53 CPU. It’s all good to know, but you can expect to see more hardware with both 801 and 805 chips until early next year.
Check the presser below for the full details.
Xbox One being able to play Xbox 360 games is something a lot of folks want to see, and Microsoft is definitely looking into it. With Build having just taken place in California you can bet that the question came up in one of the sessions. It was put to Partner Development lead, Frank Savage, by a member of the audience, and garnered this response:
"There are, but we’re not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately. It turns out to be hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff on the X86 stuff. So there’s nothing to announce, but I would love to see it myself."
What form any emulator would take is still open for debate, though simply sticking your discs in might not be the way it would work. In any case, it's great news that Microsoft is at least looking into making it happen. Whether it will or not is another story for another day.
Microsoft plans to roll out new shows with its Xbox TV studio. According to Bloomberg, Nancy Tellem is heading up the game with six series lined up, including the thriller Humans which is set to go live in 2015. It's going to be a difficult road for the software giant with the likes of Netflix and Amazon both producing original content to win the hearts (and wallets) of consumers. Tellem, who was part of the team that debuted the likes of ER and Friends, plans to separate Microsoft from the competition by adding interactive experiences.
Alongside the new Halo series and Humans, the Xbox studio will produce a comedy sketch and a stop-motion show with Green's Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, which produces Robot Chicken. Then there's the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, US this July, which will see full coverage and backstage Skype interviews. While some shows, including Every Street United, will be available for Xbox One and 360 owners for free, Microsoft is still ironing out the creases in its business model plans.
There have been reports floating around the Internet today that detail the Lumia 630 not having a proximity sensor, as well as some other sensors. Are these reports to be believed? No. Simply put, we found contradicting evidence and reached out to Nokia for confirmation and you can bet to see such features included in the device.
The official Nokia website has the Lumia 630 listed, alongside its dual-SIM sibling – the Lumia 635 – and the Lumia 930. While the specifications chart for the Lumia 930 clearly states the device sports a proximity sensor, the Lumia 630 listing does not. This has led some to believe the device will not have such capabilities.
We did some digging around as this was difficult to comprehend. The Nokia Developer website has the Lumia 630 listed with full specifications too, and this website clearly states the device does indeed have a proximity sensor (detects objects in-front of screen, used for calls), as well as an ambient light sensor (for altering auto-brightness).
It’s difficult to imagine the Lumia 630 (or the Lumia 635) not having these features as not only would it affect the user experience, but this would mean the Lumia 630 would be less advanced than the Lumia 520. That's nigh-on impossible. Will you have a proximity sensor on the new Windows Phone? Definitely.
Nokia has released the above video for the Lumia 1520, showing how the Windows Phone helps make business smarter. Whether you consider the Office for Mobile suite or integration with Microsoft services and products, Windows Phone as a whole is a perfect match for employees who make use of Windows-based hardware on a daily basis.
The Lumia 1520 brings a 6-inch display to the table, improving productivity further with its 1080p display to show everything you need to see on-screen.
Xbox Entertainment Studios and Channel 4 here in the UK have announced a new partnership to co-produce a new drama titled Humans. Part of the Xbox content collection coming to the platform, this series will feature eight hour-long episodes, produced by award-winning UK production company Kudos. Humans will be broadcasted on the Xbox platform in North America and in the UK in 2015.
Humans will be set in a parallel present where a must-have gadget, the Synth – a robotic servant, is the craze for families. One family purchases a refurbished Synth to find out that sharing their home and lives with the machine has some chilling consequences. The show aims to question personal relationships.
If you’re a major thriller fan and own an Xbox, you’ll want to take a good look at this upcoming show. Humans will make you think about love, discrimination and integration as you’re taken through the end result of collaboration between Microsoft and Channel 4.
The Xbox One has experienced a handful of price cuts since the next-gen video game console from Microsoft launched last year. The latest deal we're seeing is over at US retailer Target, which has the console listed for $449. This price is identical to what we saw at Best Buy and Walmart, but with this deal you'll also be getting Xbox Live for 12 months.
This is a neat deal for those who have yet to make the leap to the future of gaming. Enjoying Titanfall on the Xbox One is a perfect way to get started too. Head over to Target to place your order or pop into your local outlet.
While it might seem that a lot has happened since Satya Nadella took over as Microsoft's new CEO earlier this year, including the open-sourcing of the .NET frameworks, it's really the result of a process several years in the making. Mary J. Foley elaborates on ZDNET:
Somasegar said management was aware that Microsoft hadn't embraced open source in needed ways. The thinking was that Microsoft should start out by open-sourcing higher levels of the .Net Framework at first, and then consider gradually move down the stack. But there were debates about whether Microsoft should actually take contributions from the community, as is expected under most, if not all, open source licenses -- or simply make the code available for viewing but not modification.
If you're into .NET or open source software it's worth a read.
Microsoft's Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are great machines for getting things done. They're equally as good at entertainment. Movies, television shows and games look great on the 1080p resolution spread across the 10.6-inch display found on both machines. Here's a project on Kickstarter that's going to increase your listening experience when watching video or playing games. Want some Ears for your Surface?
The developer of Baconit, a popular Reddit app for Windows Phone, has opened up an early access program. What this program does for consumers is it allows those who wish to help out test new functionality and enjoy features before the stable app is updated. If you're an avid beta tester, this is certainly the option for you. Read past the break to see how you can get involved.
The idea is to add a lot of new functionality, test it with live users and then have everything patched before rolling out the major update for everyone to enjoy with a stable release. Think of it as the Baconit Beta. Since the final version is free, the developer is charging $1.49 for access on the beta program – a perfect opportunity for everyone to support future development. All you have to do is pay up, download and you're sorted.
It's worth noting that this is not a stable release of Baconit. Seriously, if you download this version (and future releases from this development cycle) there's a chance the app may have issues. Oh, and for those who are sticking to the stable, live release cycle, an update is reportedly well on the way.
The developer is seeking feedback over on Reddit, so be sure to get involved if you're interested. Source: Reddit
The U.K's EE network is set to increase prices by 2.7% — yes, two-point-seven-percent — on May 28, 2014. EE's new terms and conditions allow them to raise prices by the RPI (retail price index — i.e. the rate of inflation) once a year with 30 days notice. Here's the relevant bit from EE:
You will see a 2.7% increase to your monthly plan charge on any bills you receive from the 28th May, if you joined or upgraded to a 12, 18 or 24 month Pay Monthly or Small Business contract before the 23rd January 2014. This increase is in line with the Retail Price Index (a measure of inflation) published by the Office for National Statistics on the 25th March 2014.
If you joined or upgraded after the 23rd January 2014 then you are not affected by the price increase. If you have upgraded to a new contract in the last 30 days you may still receive a letter, however the price increase is not applicable to your new plan.
For some customers, we are also making changes to a number of other charges such as standard UK calls and texts when you go over your mobile allowance, and other services like calls to 08 numbers, international calls and MMS. These changes will take effect from the 28th May.
So, if you're on EE, consider yourself on notice. Anyone have a problem with the increase?
Anybody waiting for the ability to backup their Windows Phone Start Screen is about to get their wish, as Windows Phone 8.1 will let users backup and restore their Start Screen across devices. Restoring a device will also download the data for all of your apps.
Every tile will be restored on your device, and all of your Start Screen icons and images are maintained. Launch context is equally preserved. The only thing that isn't restored are apps themselves, which need to be re-downloaded from the Windows Phone Store. Until an app is restored its tile appears grayed out on the screen.
Are you excited to be able to backup and restore your Start Screen? Sound off below in the comments.
Source: Justin Angel on Twitter
If you’ve been eagerly awaiting Miracast support in Windows Phone 8.1, and are excited that you’ll be able to upgrade your Windows Phone, you may have to pipe down slightly as your current device may not be compatible. This news comes from Joe Belfiore on Twitter, stating that only the Nokia Lumia 1520 from current (and previous) generation Windows Phones may be compatible.
It’s a downer for consumers who were looking forward to grabbing the Windows Phone 8.1 update on current hardware to take advantage of Miracast. That said, we’re already starting to see new hardware be announced for Microsoft’s next major OS update, so perhaps you’ll be tempted to upgrade to a new model?
Either way, we’ll hopefully have more details on the peer-to-peer wireless screen casting in the near future.
This was a very busy week for all of us here at Windows Phone Central. We went up to San Francisco to attend Build 2014. There Microsoft officially announced Windows Phone 8.1, a new update to Windows 8.1, Windows on Devices and much more. Friday we snuck up to Petaluma, California to visit TWiT Studios for an in-studio taping of Windows Weekly 356. Daniel Rubino joined Mary Jo Foley, Paul Thurrott and Leo Laporte for an episode to talk all about //BUILD/ and beer.
One of the cooler announcements from BUILD this year was the support for universal applications — software that can run on more than one Windows-powered device. It appears that Plex, the popular fork of the XBMC project, is going to take advantage of this and is coming to the Xbox One. Want to hear even better news? Since the Xbone can't yet run these apps, a stand-alone version is also coming as soon as it is ready!
Tyson Edwards, posting in the official Plex forums, broke the news:
I would like to make you all aware of some very exciting news...
Microsoft has approved the development of a Plex Client for Xbox One.
That is correct, we have been granted membership into ID@Xbox specifically for the development and eventual release of Plex for Xbox One.
This is in no way saying that it will be coming next week, or even next month, but starting tonight I will be applying my first test code to an Xbox One.
More details will be coming soon.
Thank you very much for your patience in this matter, and thank you very much for your support.
An official Dashboard update is expected soon that will allow universal applications to run on the Xbox One, and hopefully Plex will be ready with the universal app then. In the meantime, get ready for Plex on your Xbox One soon.
One particularly interesting talk out of Build showcased Microsoft’s plan to bring Windows Phone into the car with a new embedded software concept. The idea here will be to project the data from the phone onto the dash display in a usable, safe format, but as you can see, a lot of the Windows visual style is retained. This is great, considering most embedded car system interfaces (Microsoft’s included) are pretty ugly.
A Redditor claiming to be a 15-year veteran at Microsoft who works on the Windows kernel platform and has sat a few doors down from Satya Nadella in years past is showing off a bunch of features of Windows Phone 8.1 and hinting at what we can expect from Windows Phone 8.2, or whatever the next update is called.
The Xbox One we had heard about last month is apparently rolling out to select beta testers with some additional improvements. The big addition here is new controller firmware which stabilizes disconnection issues and improves headset audio quality. There's also a new online friends notification animation that looks a little like this.
Here's the full feature list according to the source. Have any of you guys got the update yet?
We’ve just reviewed Airport City, the latest Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 release from international publisher Game Insight. Observant readers will notice a pattern with Game Insight’s mobile Windows releases: three out of their four games are pure city builders. The fourth game Rule the Kingdom is sort of a city builder/RPG hybrid.
Clearly city building is Game Insight’s specialty – these titles are doing very well for them on Windows Phone and Windows 8. But you do need something to differentiate one of these games from the crowd, especially when they all come from the same publisher. As luck would have it, Game Insight’s next title Cloud Raiders adds something really cool to the mix: fantasy-based strategic battles. Read on for exclusive news and impressions!
Our Windows Phone lockscreen serves two purposes. It gives us an opportunity to glance at key information without having to unlock our Windows Phone and it affords us an opportunity to stylize our phone’s appearance.
Through the native lockscreen settings you have the ability to customize the wallpaper that will appear and tweak what bits of information will appear. In addition to the native Windows Phone lockscreen settings, there are plenty of apps available in the Windows Phone Store to let you customize your lockscreen further.
While this may be old hat to some, we’ll touch base on a few of the options available to customize your Windows Phone lockscreen after the break.
"At least" five high-ranking executives from Samsung Telecommunications America have left or handed in their notice in the past two months, according to a report from CNET. The list of departing execs covers some individuals who were public faces for Samsung in addition to their strategic roles within the company, as well as those involved with some key mobile products and sales efforts.
The U.K. government, in particular, has announced that a new agreement with Microsoft will get them continued support for the next 12 months while they continue to update their infrastructure to newer versions of the operating system. Of course, this comes at a cost — £5.5 million to be exact. This figure, while quite high, is small compared to the cost of updating all the various systems and training users, and would have been considerably higher had individual departments negotiated with Microsoft versus one grand agreement.
It's still a bitter pill to swallow when you see your tax dollars spent to support old IT, and we imagine a big push to move things over will be coming this year.
With 12 million downloads Minecraft is now one of the most successful Xbox 360 games in history. Minecraft is incredibly popular, so that should come as no surprise. While Xbox 360 isn't the latest, greatest console from Microsoft — that honor belongs to the Xbox One — it still lives in many hearts and many homes. And that's not all, according to TechNet Blogs:
The "Minecraft" brain trust still has plenty of surprises in store for diehard "Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition" fans, including the April 18 release of the new Candy Texture Pack.
So, are you one of the 12 million? And if you're a hardcore Minecraft player, how does the Xbox 360 edition hold up?