We recently covered Microsoft making headway in the US, but the company is also growing in the UK as well as the rest of Europe. Sales figures reported by Kantar Worldpanel reveals that the platform has effectively doubled its market share from 4 percent to 8.4 percent in the UK. Android remains in the dominant position, occupying 56.9 percent of the market.
Windows Phone has boasted Xbox Live integration from its very beginnings in 2010. The features this integration brought, such as games with Xbox Achievements, Xbox Live friends list and text messaging support, and the promise of integration with actual console games all gave Microsoft’s mobile OS a big in with hardcore Xbox 360 gamers.
One thing has long been missing though: an exclusive title that would inspire people to buy a Windows Phone just to play it. Windows Phone 8 didn’t launch with such a game last year, and in fact neither did Microsoft’s revolutionary PC and tablet OS, Windows 8. The lack of killer apps was enough to make us question Microsoft’s will to bring the company’s major franchises to its own mobile platforms.
That all changes today, because Microsoft has just officially announced Halo: Spartan Assault for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. That’s right: Halo, one of the most popular franchises in gaming is coming exclusively to Windows platforms next month. And both versions will be Xbox Live enabled, complete with shiny Achievements. At last, it looks like Microsoft is starting to take mobile Xbox gaming seriously.
The Windows Phone team has recently partnered with mobile photography community We Are Juxt to discuss how the platform has reinvented taking photos with a smartphone (or rather how Nokia is leading the front with its optics development). The team will be holding a live chat on Twitter today to discuss tips and tricks, as well as some stories around the campfire. If you take part and join in the party, you could win a Nokia Lumia 928.
Did you get your RSVP in for the Talk Mobile launch party in New York City next week? It's going to be a spectacular event, with all the Mobile Nations editors and a ton of fans and some very special guests all together under one roof to celebrate. This is the first time we've done a cross-site celebration like this, and we have no doubt that it's going to be a night to remember. We have DJ Mia Moretti lined up for some sweet aural stimulation as well as good food, strong drinks, and thousands of dollars in awesome prizes to be given away throughout the evening!
Aside from the lucky fans that managed to snag a spot at the party by RSVPing online, we had a contest to send one lucky reader and a guest to NYC for the party, with paid airfare and hotel, and it's time to announce who that person is!
Drum roll please...
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Earlier last month, Daniel discussed the rise of Windows Phone and how the platform is now legitimate. The main proof was the slew of big apps that have been hitting the store for the first time or getting major updates. New apps like Tumblr, Hulu, and Pandora are helping tip the scales in favor of Windows Phone and its users. Want some more proof? Popular indie game Terraria is coming to Windows Phone later this summer.
Good news for those who use Nextgen Reader for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. The team has announced on the official blog that their apps will support Feedly. This is the next major chapter in the Closure of Google Reader book. With the search giant shutting down its popular RSS service, apps that connect and synchronise are having to locate other services to remain operational.
Windows Phone owners whom consider themselves running enthusiasts have plenty of options when it comes to apps to track your run, today we’re going to turn the spotlight on a popular indie effort: Running Mate.
Running Mate has been around the Windows Phone ecosystem for some time now, originally developer for Windows Phone 7 by developer Nabeel Moghal (find him on twitter here), the app you’ll currently find on the marketplace is fully compatible with all version of the Windows Phone operating system. Read on for an overview of features as well as some information on the complete overhaul planned for the Windows Phone 8 version.
We know many of you have wisely switched to Outlook.com for your email, but for some, either due to legacy or workplace requirements, Google’s Gmail is a necessity. While you can certainly add Gmail natively to Windows Phone, there’s no doubt that it lacks all of Google’s punch.
Developer EcoMerc has made a nifty Gmail app for Windows Phone, appropriately called ‘Gmail’. What makes this app unique is it’s reportedly based off of “…the exact same codebase as the official Gmail for iPhone/iPad”, meaning this will feel kind of like a true app for Windows Phone users.
Microsoft really wants consumers to put down their iPads and pick up its own ARM based Windows RT devices. So far, we have seen aggressive campaigning against Apple’s portable computing tablet. Now, Microsoft plans to cut the cost of Windows RT licenses and make tablets running the operating system even cheaper; this intel comes from anonymous sources, as the exact pricing for Microsoft’s Windows RT operating system is confidential.
We told you on Friday about Swapchat, the new unofficial Snapchat that is due within the next week or so for Windows Phone 7.x and 8. That app currently allows photos (but not yet videos) to be posted directly to Snapchat and you can even screenshot at will.
We also told you about another developer who was working on an unofficial app for the popular message-expiring service. That developer is none other than Daniel Gary, the man behind Instance (formerly, Itsdagram), the first fully featured Instagram client for Windows Phone.
On June 8, Microsoft will be opening its third Microsoft Store in Massachusetts; this one in Natick Mall, just outside the Greater Boston area. To help celebrate the momentous occasion, indie-rockers (somewhat) Weezer will be performing in the parking lot of The Verve Crowne Plaza Natick, across the street from Natick Mall, home of the new store.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is working on restructuring the giant software company, according to a report over on AllThingsD. This shuffling could see several current executives hold more prominent roles. Sources familiar with plans note that the restructuring will focus on solidifying Microsoft into the "devices and services company" that Ballmer previously wrote about in his annual shareholder letter.
We've already witnessed the company slowly move into hardware with its Surface family of Windows 8 tablets, as well as services that include Office 365, and Skype among others. It certainly makes sense for Microsoft to adapt to the demands of today's consumer. Reports note that while plans are being drafted, changes could well change drastically.
The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has integrated wireless charging docks into their shop tables for customers to charge any QI enabled phone. The move is an obvious promotion by Nokia (which was announced last December) as the table is plastered in their logos – not to mention the Nokia brochures sitting on the side. Despite the advertisements being for the Nokia Lumia, if you have smartphone with a wireless charging case – you can join in on the fun.
We’ve previously seen the mid to high range device in Blue and Yellow, so why not add Red to the mix? At this point, we’re more curious about what colors they won’t do as we know Black and White is probably a given as well. (Can we get a Green up in this hizzy?)
Image courtesy of The Verge
Today Dell announced its latest carbon fiber and aluminum creation, the XPS 11. The manufacturer’s latest machine features a beautiful design and 2560 x 1440 resolution. In addition, Dell takes a cue from Lenovo’s IdeaPad YOGA and introduces a hinge that allows the screen to flip back 360-degrees behind the keyboard.
Did we mention that Dell flattened the keyboard so much that you might confuse it with a Microsoft Touch Cover? We don't know about you, but to us, one of the main factors laptop machines still have going for themselves, over their tablet counterparts, are the keyboards. Why Dell, why?
Good news for those who rely on Adobe’s Reader for their PDF viewing as version 10.1 built for Windows Phone 8 has just hit the Store. Long a sore spot for some on Windows Phone, Adobe’s Reader has always lagged behind where the desktop version, causing some frustration amongst those who desire more robust document support on-the-go.
Detailed in a blog post on the official Windows Phone site, the app takes advantage of the current gen’s much faster tools, allowing a more fluid experience.
Microsoft has today announced a new version of its Skype client is available to download for Windows 8. The new version supports high-definition video calling, improvements to the video messaging preview and implements various general fixes. We last looked at the Windows Skype client back in March when the company added call blocking.
The S7 was a near perfect machine (see our mini-review) and the latest revision updates the two biggest complaints with the notebook – low RAM and terrible battery life. The new Haswell microarchitecture features a new advanced power-saving system that should give the system a bit of a boost in the mobility department. In addition, Acer has increased the battery from 4,680 mAh to 6,280 mAh (an almost 35% boost). As far as the RAM is concern, it has been doubled from 4GB to 8GB – perfect for anyone needing to get some intense Photoshop work done.
The Taiwanese hardware manufacturer confirmed that the world’s first mini tablet running Windows 8.1 is real and will be headed to markets later this year. In addition, Acer confirmed the leaked specs on Amazon.com to be correct for the device; the tablet weighs 1.10 pounds, is .45 inches thin, sports a 12800 x 800 8.1 inch LCD display, 32 or 64 GB of memory, and is powered by an Intel Atom Clover Trail CPU.
Are you a fan of the Earth? Would you like to see the day and night cycle in action on your Windows Phone lock screen? If the answer to both questions is "affirmative", then you'll be sure to check out Earth Lock Screen. The newly released app does exactly as the name suggests - a dynamically rendered photo of the Earth is displayed on the lock screen as a background.
The popular shooter game for Windows Phone, DoDonPachi Maximum is now on sale. The title is currently exclusive for Windows Phone 7.x hardware, leaving those who have upgraded to new hardware to find other titles to quench the thirst for bullets, bullets and more bullets. If you've not played DoDonPachi Maximum before, now is a perfect opportunity to get stuck in and see just how far you can progress.
If you’re familiar with Rudy Huyn, all-star developer behind such great apps as TVShow and Wikipedia, then you should be as excited as we are for his next project: an unofficial Vine client (www.vine.co). Vine is like what Twitter is to blogging, in that in allows you to post video clips but that are limited to just six seconds in length, forcing some unique creativity.
With unofficial Instagram and now Snapchat apps either available or soon-to-be, Vine appears to be likely the next big thing for developers to tackle. Since there is no evidence (or rumors) that Vine has anything in the works for Windows Phone, it’s up to our indie devs to fill the gap.
Kantar Worldpanel has released a new report that shows Android leading in the US, but both iOS and Windows Phone are growing at a faster rate. Both platforms experienced an increase in sales of 2.3 and 1.8 percentage points respectively, while Google's mobile platform was reported at 1.4 (year-on-year). Good news for Microsoft and its continued struggle to establish itself in the competitive North American market.