Windows Phone 8.1 is being shown off by Microsoft here at Build 2014 in San Francisco. There are plenty of changes coming to the new version of Windows Phone. Microsoft has just announced a new camera app for Windows Phone users. This is the default camera app that all OEMs and users will have access to on Windows Phone 8.1 devices. Let’s check it out.
Windows Phone has always had podcast support integrated into the OS. But now it’s getting decoupled from the core OS and will live on as a separate app. The benefit is that Microsoft can now create a richer podcast experience on Windows Phone without needing to update the operating system. All that’s needed now is an update to an app.
Let’s check out podcasts on Windows Phone 8.1.
Greenpeace has published a report on the renewable energy used by major internet companies, including those active in the mobile space. Topping the list is Apple, which apparently runs iCloud and iTunes on 100% green electricity. It’s got a massive solar farm powering its North Carolina data center, and plans for geothermal and solar power for its upcoming Nevada data center. Oregon and California data centers are already being powered through wind energy partners.
Microsoft has just announced the next browser you’ll be using in Windows Phone 8.1. Building off the foundation of Internet Explorer 10 comes Internet Explorer 11. At first glance you might not notice too many new changes to IE 11, but there are plenty of tweaks to give you a better browsing experience. You’ll find InPrivate browsing, improvements in Data Sense, a new reader mode, tabs from IE on other devices and much more. Let’s check out IE11 for Windows Phone 8.1.
We’re here at Build 2014 in San Francisco. Microsoft is showing off Windows Phone 8.1 to the world for the first time. Cortana and the notification center might dominate headlines, but it’s the smaller features in Windows Phone 8.1 that really make it a joy to use. One change you can look forward to is the new keyboard. Ready to swipe?
Independent volume controls is probably one of the most requested minor features for Windows Phone. Thankfully Microsoft has delivered. Windows Phone 8.1 introduces the ability to control your ringer volume separately from your media volume. Check it out on in our hands-on video.
Microsoft has just announced Cortana for Windows Phone 8.1 at Build 2014. Cortana is the upcoming voice assistant that will compete against Siri and Google Now. We’ve heard rumors and seen leaks over the previous months, but now it’s all official. Cortana will be available soon to users on Windows Phone 8.1.
In the meantime, check out our hands on video of Cortana.
Windows Phone 8.1 is finally here. It brings with it a highly anticipated feature for managing all the alerts from different apps. That’s right. Windows Phone 8.1 now has a notification center to bring all your information into one location. It’s actually a very powerful implementation that includes an action center for quick access to settings. Let’s check it all out in this hands on video.
It has been nearly 18 months since Windows Phone 8 was released on October 29, 2012. In that time, Microsoft’s mobile operating system has seen three minor updates. That all changes today. Windows Phone 8.1 was has finally been announced by Microsoft. We go hands-on with Windows Phone 8.1 to give you a first look at the new operating system.
Zens has a new Qi wireless charger, and this one is for your car. The aptly-named "ZENS Qi Wireless Car Charger" is set to hit markets on April 15th for an eye-melting €69.99 (US$96.54). It's designed to split into your cup holder and has a slot on its top designed to accommodate smartphones with displays up to 5 inches. Blessedly, the vast majority of phones that support Qi charging (both Android and Windows Phone) fall into that range.
Microsoft is set to unveil not only Windows Phone 8.1 today, but also some other goodies for watchful eyes. Nokia will also be making headlines with new hardware announcements, including the Lumia 930. Now Twitter leakster Evleaks has published a render of the unannounced Windows Phone in all its colourful glory.
As one can see from the render, the Lumia 930 (aka. ‘Martini’) looks identical to the Lumia Icon available on Verizon in the US. This is essentially an international version for those who wish to use the Icon in their region. We’ll hopefully have more details later today when Nokia holds its media briefing.
Source: Twitter (@evleaks)
We’ve become accustomed to knowing one end of a USB cable has to go into a computer or charger, and the other end goes into your phone, but there is a future where you can use either end in either thingie, and this is what that utopian paradise looks like. The USB Implementers Forum is showing off two USB 3.1 connector standards today.
Type-C shows off a design similar to the microUSB format we all know and love, except it’s the same at both ends, and there’s no set top or bottom for those plugs. This reversible tip is a feature Apple’s been getting an early lead with using their Lightning connector, though the more direct comparison would be Apple’s Thunderbolt. The Micro-B cable shows a slightly wider mobile connector we’ve already seen cropping up in devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Why do we need a new USB standard? Well, increased data speeds for one. We’re talking 10 Gbps, versus the 5 Gbps available on USB 3.0. Two, you can expect faster charging times. We’ll be getting between 3 A and 5 A of current, up from 1.5 A. All of these new USB plugs will be backwards compatible with the 3.0 products in market (with an adapter, maybe?), so no need to worry about things getting too wonky with your existing hardware. In any case, it’ll be cool to start seeing micro-sized plugs built into PCs and chargers.
A reference to Microsoft's upcoming virtual assistant Cortana has appeared in the settings panel of Bing. Users signed into Bing on the web can navigate to the Personalization section to view a section called Other Cortana Data under their search history. The section allows you to clear certain types of data that Cortana makes use of, such as contacts and calendars, and users are greeted with the following:
To provide personalized recommendations, we upload some info from your Windows Phone, such as your calendar, contacts, location, and browsing history. If you clear this info, Microsoft may be temporarily unable to provide these recommendations.
The Payments Council, which supervises banking transactions within the UK, has today announced ‘Paym’. This new service will enable account-holders to pay friends, family or other parties without having to abstract bank details and other personal information. Simply using a mobile number, UK consumers can wire funds in no time at all. Think of it as a unique account number all your contacts already have noted.
Windows Phone already has some mobile banking apps available on the platform – Barclays, Lloyds and Natwest to name but a few – but this new system will make it even easier for consumers to transfer money, without the need for mobile banking (unless you'd like to view balances and more).
If you’re interested in taking part, you’ll be able to register from today should your bank actively support tying your mobile number to an account. Before you assume the system will be vulnerable to fraud, Neil Aitken, from the Payments Council, informed BBC that it’s a secure concept.
"The only thing that people would be able to do if they got your mobile number is pay you - it will be integrated in to your existing banking app so it's password protected."
The popular messaging service with voice calling, Viber has today released an update for Windows Phone. In today's release, version 4.1, the company has added Viber Out and some other new features to compete against other services like Microsoft's own Skype.
Viber Out enables you to call any number at low-rate charges. It's a cool solution to those who require contact with numbers that would otherwise be fairly expensive. You can top-up available credit and engage with others on your Windows Phone. As well as Viber Out, version 4.1 also introduced the following:
- Send video messages
- Send multiple photos at the same time
- Hands-free Bluetooth support: seamlessly transfer calls to Bluetooth3
Download Viber from the Windows Phone Store for free. Thanks, nothanks91, for the tip!
The official Facebook app for Windows Phone, developed by Microsoft, is a sweet client for those who simply cannot live without being notified about when friends are playing Farmville. Should you be new to Windows Phone and/or the Facebook app, we have you covered with five tips you may not know about the app.
Can’t see some messages? Check the "other" folder
Facebook splits your inbox into two areas – inbox and an ‘other’ folder. The primary inbox stores all messages received from your friends and family. What this folder does not contain are messages from Facebook users who you have not yet connected with. This is where the other folder comes into play.
It’s essentially a junk/filer system designed to prevent your main inbox from being flooded with messages, should you be a popular soul of course. If you happen to find yourself searching for a message and cannot locate it, check the other folder by hitting the Switch icon in the messages view (the icon with arrows pointing in opposite directions).
We may have had to deal with the usual April articles yesterday, but one that stood out from all the jokes was T-Mobile’s plans to scrap corporate discount from Simple Choice plans. The mobile network has today confirmed a partial reversal, allowing only existing customers to retain their discount. Sorry, new subscribers.
Those who take out new rate plans will be met with a T-Mobile gift card worth $25 when purchasing a new device, while those who are already with the network will be able to continue with their general bill savings. It’s a positive move, especially since discounts from T-Mobile have been up to 15 percent, depending on where you work.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere previously wrote the following in a blog post:
"The old programs were designed to help big carriers close big corporate contracts, with employees as bargaining chips. We aren’t playing that game anymore. This change is about simplifying wireless for everyone… including employees of small and large companies alike."
Does this partial reversal help you out at all?
We're here, live at Microsoft's Build developer conference. On tap this morning on day one is the opening keynote, coming in at a butt numbing three hours in length. So you can bet Microsoft will have a lot to say in that time, including Windows Phone 8.1, Cortana and even a new app or two.
Head below to join in your own chat room to discuss the keynote as it happens, and watch our live commentary and photos as we cover the event live. We'll add the embed of the keynote as well.
The event kicks off at 8:30 AM PT / 11:30 am ET/ 4:30 PM GMT / 9:00 PM IST.
We are less than 12 hours away from Microsoft’s keynote at Build 2014. We’re really looking forward to all the news surrounding Windows Phone 8.1. That said, Microsoft will be showing off plenty of other products, devices and services. It also looks like Microsoft is ready to join the ‘Internet of Things’. A website has gone live on the night before Build. The site gives us a little insight into what else Microsoft may announced this week.
You can control your Xbox One with so many modes of input. Use the Xbox One controller, use Kinect or use the Xbox One SmartGlass app on Windows Phone. The phone app is great and we have no major complaints, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft isn’t innovating. The company has just pushed out a beta version of SmartGlass for Windows Phone. The app gives you a sneak peek at new features coming. Let’s check it out.
Dish and Disney have reached a distribution deal that will allow subscribers to watch Disney content on their computers and mobile devices.
Using apps found in Apple's App Store, Google Play, the Amazon Appstore and the Windows store, viewers will be able to watch live programming from ABC Family, Disney Channel and Disney XD, as well as live network streams of ABC, which are currently available in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Fresno, Philadelphia and Raleigh-Durham.
Here at Windows Phone Central, some apps just sit clear above the rest as our favorites. When it comes to gathering your favorite news sources and reading them in an efficient fashion, we do not go farther than NextMatter’s Nextgen Reader.
The popular RSS reading app for Windows 8 has received an update today and a plethora of new features and abilities have been introduced.
When you pick up a tablet for multi-media consumption, it may be a safe bet that a good magazine app will be on your Start Screen. From our forums, Windows Phone Central member rkeenan wants to know your suggestions for a good magazine application for his Windows RT tablet.
In addition to carrying around his Windows tablet, rkeenan also carries around his Galaxy Note 8 (which he'd like to get rid of) to access his Google Play subscriptions. Let us take a look at a few magazine apps from the Windows Store that might help rkeenan cut his ties to the Galaxy Note.
Microsoft has today updated its collection of apps on the Windows Store. The array of Bing solutions help make the Windows 8 experience what it is with travel, sports, weather, news, health and more all covered by Microsoft developed apps. There's something here to suit multiple needs and requirements.
We previously looked at the apps being bumped to new versions to make way for a new cross-platform, Microsoft account syncing feature. Check below to see if your favorite Bing apps have been updated.
There's an update to the Windows Phone app for Windows 8 to be had, but what comes with that update? Well, that's an unknown. A good number of you have tipped us that you've downloaded the update, but that, as we've seen, there's no real indication of what's changed. Except for this: "Windows Phone app now supports the latest version of Windows Phone." Huh.