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3 years ago

HTC confirms its support for Windows Phone 8 with a press release - more than one device due?

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We already knew from todays earlier Microsoft event that HTC would be continuing their support with Windows Phone but a press release direct from HTC has just hit my inbox so I thought I had better share.

Note the way that Peter Chou says 'smartphones' and not 'smartphone'. I presume we will see more than one new device then? Super news.

HTC, a global leader in mobile design and innovation, today pledged its ongoing support of Microsoft by backing the new Windows Phone 8 platform. Building on the two companies’ long mobile partnership dating back to 2000 and including more than 40 million phones sold, HTC will be bringing new Windows Phone 8 smartphones to market later this year.

“HTC is committed to Windows Phone more than ever and we are excited to be bringing new Windows Phone 8-enabled smartphones to customers later this year,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation.  “With the introduction of Windows Phone in 2010, Microsoft initiated a new powerful mobile ecosystem with a consumer experience that was both unique and user friendly.”

“We have seen great momentum for Windows Phone since its launch in 2010, with 100,000 apps now in the Marketplace”, said Terry Myerson, Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone at Microsoft. “HTC is one of our closest partners and we share a common goal in driving people-centric innovation, which makes it easy to work together. We can’t wait to see how HTC brings Windows Phone 8 to its product portfolio”.

 

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3 years ago

Microsoft announces the new Start Screen for Windows Phone 8 (Updated with Video)

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Microsoft today showed off the new Start screen for Windows Phone 8. The new Start screen in Windows Phone 8 has three new elements, including

  • Variable tile sizes, including user customizable selection between small, medium and so-called “double wide” tiles
  • Removal of the “gutter” aka “the gap” known as the off-centered space to the right of the Start screen. The gutter was a carry-over from the Zune days but now Tiles will be evenly distributed on the Start screen
  • New tile colors – yes, while the 10 + 1 model of Accent colors for Windows Phone carried us for nearly two years, Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8 will offer a wider selection of colors

The Windows Phone 8 new Start screen offers a more personal experience by being more customizable, giving users greater choice and control. Whle it doesn't match Windows 8 desktop exactly, it's fairly close and should please many users.  

Hit the break for more pics and a video highlighting the new start screen.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia Windows Phones getting new apps and updates

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Nokia joined Microsoft today at the Windows Phone 8 Summit to announce a handful of new apps and a few updates to existing apps. The new apps and updates are scheduled to hit the Lumia line of Windows Phones next week.

  • PlayTo is a DLNA app that will let you share music, videos, and photos wirelessly with other DLNA compatible devices.
  • Nokia Counter is an app that will let you monitor data and voice usage.

Updates will also be pushed through to Nokia Maps, Drive, Transport and the camera app.  Here's what we know about the updates.

  • Nokia Transport will have the capability to pin a location to your Start Screen for quick reference and when tapped, will pull up all the transportation services within that area.
  • Nokia Drive will add a feature called My Commute that has your Windows Phone monitor your commuting patterns and map out the best route possible.
  • The camera app will get a few new extensions that will give the camera a self-timer, a burst mode, a panorama mode and Smart Group Shot. Smart Group Shot will take several pictures of the same group and select the most suitable facial expressions (avoiding subjects with their eyes closed, mouth open, looking away, etc.)and combine it all into one shot.  You can also choose which facial expression to use as well.

Details on when these new apps and updates will become available was left at "starting next week".  We aren't sure if we'll see all hit at once or a few at a time over the next few weeks.  As details come into better focus, we'll pass it on.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone 8 updates will all be delivered Over the Air

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An easy to miss morsel of information in today's Windows Phone 8 keynote is the news that all future Windows Phone 8 updates will be delivered Over-the-air.

That's right, no longer will you need to dig out the USB cable and hook your phone up to the nearest computer running Zune to pick up any new features. All new hardware running the Windows Phone 8 platform will be able to bring down updates over a data connection.

Such methods of updating phone software are present for many of Windows Phone's competitors, so it's good to see Microsoft taking another step in severing the need to keep your phone tethered to a larger device. That's not to say that we don't expect to see synchronising play a huge part in the Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 relationship, but taking away the dependence on such a connection is a smart move.

Whilst the issue of the update path for existing Windows Phone 7.5 users may be stirring quite a debate, we're sure that this will be welcome news to everyone who's interest in a new device later this year has just piqued. 

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3 years ago

Words with Friends and DrawSomething coming to Windows Phone this Fall

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Gaming news coming out of the Windows Phone Summit is that Zynga's long-anticipated Words With Friends and DrawSomething, by newly-acquired OMGPOP, are finally coming to Windows Phone. The two social games have been loved on iPhone and Android for some time and will make their way to Windows Phone sometime this fall.

There's no exact release date for either, but we're already wasting time at work thinking about it.

Update: See the full Nokia press release after the break

 

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3 years ago

Dropbox reads your files...kinda

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Dropbox reads your files...kinda

Well, here's an interesting little tidbit for those that use Dropbox to store or share files.

We have all seen documents getting leaked out of large organisations to the public, and invariably said company usually get's the documents removed for legal reasons from wherever they are being hosted. In fact, after the supposed presentation about the XBOX 720 leaking, we saw it being removed from Scridb.com at the request of Covington & Burling LLP which is a firm known to have dealings with Microsoft.

None of that is surprising, but today Windows Phone Centrals Daniel Rubino sent me a certain document via Dropbox so that I could take a look at it. However, trying to download the file just returns the image you can see above. This was not a link shared publically, but yet, it was removed seemingly automatically.

That begs the question, do storage companies analyze your files' content as you upload them? They no doubt have a clause in their terms that allows them to do just that, but it is another thing actually seeing it used.

Moral of the story? Don't use commercial cloud storage to share secret files.

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3 years ago

Microsoft officially confirms over 100,000 apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace

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Although we've reported that the Windows Phone Marketplace had 100,000 apps, today Microsoft has put the official stamp on it announcing the figure at the Windows Phone Summit in San Francisco, California.

Certainly a Marketplace should be judged on quality of apps but hitting 100,000 apps has to feel good for Microsoft as it adds some legitimacy to the platform.

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3 years ago

HTC, Samsung, Nokia and Huawei are announced as Windows Phone 8 launch partners

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Microsoft today announced that HTC, Nokia, Samsung and Huawei will be key launch partners for Windows Phone 8 come this fall.

The new hardware for Windows Phone 8 includes multi-core chips, higher resolution displays including true 720P, NFC and encrypted storage. All four of the announced companies will be providing these high end devices around the world starting this fall.

In addition, Qualcomm (and only Qualcomm) will be providing the chipsets to power the new WP8 phones, which are expected to be dual-core with 1.5Ghz CPUs and feature 720x1280 displays.

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3 years ago

Microsoft reveals Skype & 3rd party VOIP integration for Windows Phone 8

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Microsoft today announced the expansion of voice over telephony (VOIP) for Windows Phone 8, enabling the integration of Skype into the phone OS in addition to any other 3rd party VOIP applications.

Come this fall users will be able to have Skype as well as any 3rd party VOIP clients fully integrated into the Windows Phone dialer and contacts, giving a near seamless user experience. Background tasks and notifications will be handled by the OS allowing VOIP apps to manage calls across cellular and data connections. In addition, Bluetooth connectivity will also "just work" with Skype and other VOIP apps.

Developers will appreciate the array of new APIs that allow them to “plug in” to the Windows Phone 8 VOIP system while maintaining application and system stability.

The announcement comes on the heels of the Windows Phone 7 app update and should alleviate current user cmplaints about Skype's limitations on the platform, which we've detailed in the past.

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3 years ago

Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 7.8 update for current hardware

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Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.8

The question of what Microsoft would do for those current Windows Phone users who have generation 1 and generation 1.5 devices like the HTC Titan or the highly popular Nokia Lumia 900 for Windows Phone 8 has finally been answered.

Windows Phone 8’s main features involve new hardware like multi-core processors, NFC and higher resolution displays. Phones like the Lumia 900 cannot take advantage of these new features but Windows Phone 8 also brings additional changes to the Start screen which current users can take advantage of.

In able to ensure that current customers have the best and latest from Microsoft, the company is officially offering Windows Phone 7.8 as an OS upgrade. Windows Phone 7.8 will still be based on the CE kernel and won’t enable advanced Windows Phone 8 features like app and games that use native programming, but it will give current users the new Start screen and appearance of Windows Phone 8.

The new Start screen in Windows Phone 8 has three new elements, including

  • Variable tile sizes, including user customizable selection between small, medium and so-called “double wide” tiles
  • Removal of the “gutter” aka “the gap” known as the off-centered space to the right of the Start screen. The gutter was a carry-over from the Zune days but now Tiles will be evenly distributed on the Start screen
  • New tile colors – yes, while the 10 + 1 model of Accent colors for Windows Phone carried us for nearly two years, Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8 will offer a wider selection of colors

Although not being able to directly upgrade to the new NT kernel of Windows Phone 8 may be a bit of a letdown for current users, the Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade should offer new Windows Phone users nearly the same experience considering their lack of advanced hardware.

Update: Nokia just announced Play To DLNA support, Counters for data information, Nokia Music 3.0 and Camera Extras for all current Lumia phones

Do you think it’s a fair compromise and are you satisfied? Let us know in comments.

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3 years ago

Microsoft announces Nokia Map Technology for Windows Phone 8

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As expected, Microsoft today announced Nokia Map Technology as the core navigation of Windows Phone 8.

Featuring offline support,  NAVTEQ map data, map control for developers to integrate into their apps and full turn by turn directions, Windows Phone 8 will finally have a top line navigation system for free use.

As we mentioned previously, this mapping technology will be hardware accelerated giving a great user experience. 

Developing...

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3 years ago

Microsoft announces Wallet for Windows Phone 8

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Today Microsoft has officially unveiled Wallet for the forthcoming Windows Phone 8 OS.  Windows Phone Wallet combines two popular features into one, specifically near-field communication (NFC) support for transaction in addition to an account manager for your frequently used credit cards, frequent flier passes and other personal data.

The Wallet feature will be built into the existing “Hub Model” of Windows Phone giving users quick and seamless access to their personal financial data and enabling wireless near-field communication payments where such systems exist. The storage aspect of Wallet enables users to store payment instructions, deals, and loyalty cards.

Even more impressive is the fact that developers can add and manage items in the wallet, define payment instruments and interact with NFC, giving them yet another opportunity on the WP8 platform. Developers can also link to Wallet for in-app purchases, which is also a new feature for Windows Phone 8.

While Android has NFC payments via Google Wallet and Apple has introduced Passbook to handle and store personal information, only Windows Phone 8 combines both into a single feature accessible to all users with new Windows Phone 8 hardware.

Finally, transaction service Paypal is officially supported in Windows Phone 8 directly through Wallet, enabling users to avoid using credit cards or carrier-billing, giving them yet another option for external payments or new the new in-app payment system introduced in Windows Phone 8.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Summit: New resolutions revealed for Windows Phone 8

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Continuing our Windows Phone Summit coverage, we detail the new resolutions announced for Windows Phone 8: In line with earlier leaks and expectations, Microsoft has now confirmed that Windows Phone 8 will ship with 3 supported resolutions (2 additional). Specifically:

  • 480x800 (15:9)
  • 768x1280 (15:9)
  • 720x1280 (16:9)

The last of the resolutions, of course, is most desirable on a device because its full 720p resolution. That means no letterboxing -- you know, those annoying black bars on top and bottom.

Now you're probably thinking: What's with the two aspect ratios? We asked about this and it boils down to part costs and OEM flexibility. Let's be honest, OEMs targeting developing markets don't need or want to have the most expensive screen part. Nor do consumers in that market want to pay for one. So loosening on screen requirements is a win for a lot of folks.

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3 years ago

Microsoft officially announces Windows Phone 8

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In the smallest kept secret, this morning in San Francisco, CA Microsoft announced details of the upcoming Windows Phone 8 operating system codenamed “Apollo”.

Accelerating what was started with Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is continuing down the path of “Mango” and building for the next generation of hardware.  As detailed by Joe Belfiore during a keynote speech, Windows Phone 8 is due out “this fall” and will contain many new features both for developers and consumers.

As expected, details on new device resolutions, multi-core CPU support, near-field communications (NFC) and native C++ development were given during the Microsoft sponsored Windows Phone Summit. While the software-development kit (SDK) was not released for developers, one is expected to be delivered by the end of summer where more technical guidance will also be granted.

The big focus for this morning is on the new architecture, the NT kernel, for Windows Phone and what it means for developers, OEMs and IT professionals. With Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 desktop based on the same core, developers can more easily leverage their apps by sharing overlapping code between the two platforms. Such a move should great enhance app development on Windows Phone as desktop developers will have to only engage in minor coding fixes to port their app to the new mobile OS.

Moreover, applications for Windows Phone 7.x will automatically run on Windows Phone 8 with little or no changes to the code of the app.  Apps coded on Windows Phone 8 will conversely run on Windows Phone 7.x as well so long as they don’t use native coding (apps coded with native C++ won’t run on Windows Phone 7.x since they use different APIs).

While plenty was shown off there is still plenty more that will come later this summer when the Developer SDK is released.

Developing...

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3 years ago

WPCentral at the Windows Phone Summit - Live Blog

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We're here at the Marriott Marquis for the Windows Phone Summit where Microsoft is expected to reveal details on Windows Phone 8, including new resolutions, current device upgrades, developer tools and more.

Join Daniel Rubino and Rafael Rivera live as we cover the Keynote speech and any follow up developer sessions.

<a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=b0f6c338c8" href="http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=b0f6c338c8" >Windows Phone Summit</a>

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