By Alex Dobie, Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm EDT
We're live from London's Earls Court exhibition center for Samsung Premiere 2013 -- the Korean manufacturer's big event where it's promising to show off new Galaxy (Android) and Windows (ATIV) devices. So we can expect to see more Galaxy S4 phones -- and on the Windows side, there's the possibility of more tablets and ultrabooks, and maybe some new Windows Phone devices too.
Back in the day, what mattered when picking a smartphone - be it a Nokia N-something, an aging Palm Treo, a BlackBerry with proper answer and end buttons, or a stylus-driven Windows Mobile brick - was the quality of the built-in applications. The features of the email program or the to-do application or whether or not the calendar integrated with Exchange were the driving forces.
Today smartphones are almost wholly dependent on third-party apps. These apps are the focus of half the commercials for every platform - they define what you can do with the smartphone or tablet. With how codependent modern smartphones and app developers are, we have to ask, what can the builders of these platforms to do better support the builders of these apps?
Each platform offers a different experience and set of features for developers. Some app storefronts are strictly curated while others are a free-for-all. They offer different mechanisms for advertising, in-app purchases, subscriptions, cloud services, and deployment. Some platform builders offer incentives, while others have the marketshare that the incentive is success.
Platforms need developers, and developers need platforms, but the relationship is a rocky one. How do we improve it for better platforms and better apps?
Users and developers alike can agree that having an app available regardless of platform is a great ideal. But at what cost?
Microsoft’s security division has been fighting back hackers and botnets for years and now they want you to help out. The company is offering a variety of bounties for finding bugs and security flaws in a variety of software.
Windows 8.1 is the first on a list of bounty programs to launch on June 26th. Microsoft will pay up $100,000 USD to hackers who can showcase “truly novel exploitation techniques”. The company is serious about making sure Windows’ latest revision is released to the public without a hitch.
We've followed Disney's development of a new game that's coming to the Windows ecosystem. Where's My Mickey? is a brand new puzzle game accompanied by a series of short films. The title was stated to be heading to both Windows 8 and Windows Phone and we're today pleased to announce they're now available.
Magnet Balls is a bubble-burst styled game for your Windows Phone with a small twist. The balls are magnetic and will shift as groupings become un-balanced.
It's an interesting twist that will open up moves that will keep the game going or close the gap making finding a move all the more challenging.
Sure, it's another bubble-breaker game but the magnetic effect does help Magnet Balls from playing like any other bubble-breaker game. Game play is challenging and somewhat addictive making Magnet Balls worth a try.
Recently we saw the upcoming 41MP Nokia Lumia ‘EOS’ (don’t worry, that’s just its codename) appear in black, metal and even white. We of course revealed that the phone would also come in yellow, especially for AT&T where the device goes by the codename ‘Elvis’.
Earlier yesterday, Nokia teased the monster camera-phone on their Conversations blog by noting there are “41 million reasons” to tune in on July 11th, when the phone is expected to be revealed in New York City for the press.
In a very late breaking story, the site WinP.cn is reporting that a new ad from China Mobile shows the soon-to-be-announced Huawei Ascend W2 in video. The image appears to match up with those shown by @evleaks
The ad itself is not for the W2 itself, as numerous other Samsung phones are shown too. Instead, this appears to be an ad for the TD-SCDMA based China Mobile, which then uses several smartphones to bolster its image as leading network provider.
By Sam Sabri, Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 10:46 pm EDT
Surface RT is great device. You’ve got beautiful hardware, held back by a somewhat under-whelming processor. The Surface RT launched in October 2012, nearly a year after the Tegra 3 system-on-a-chip inside of it did. Now, clearly Microsoft has more planned for the Surface brand than the Surface RT and Surface Pro. Obviously for the Surface Pro we can expect some Haswell magic for their Intel processors, but what about Surface RT? How about Qualcomm?
By Sam Sabri, Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 7:39 pm EDT
We’re only three weeks away from Nokia’s Zoom Reinvented event in New York City. It takes place July 11 and it’s there we suspect the Fins to take the wraps off of the Nokia Lumia “EOS”. Over the past few weeks we’ve seen the upcoming device in a variety of different states – smartphone housing, full images of the device, FCC filings and more. When it comes to the FCC filing the device was going under the name Nokia RM-877. Now there’s another device hanging out with the FCC – the Nokia RM-875.
We're back at The Garage - essentially Microsoft's attempt to take Top Gear and spin it with the Office suite of products. Jeremy Chapman, Office Senior Development Lead and Amanda Lefebvre, Senior PMM of Office Web Apps both walk us through the new real-time co-authoring that's feature in the upcoming web version of Office.
Enjoy Windows 8 but feel like you could use some more apps? Chief Evangelist for Windows, Steve Guggenheimer has you covered. He has taken the opportunity to highlight a handful of apps that are heading for Windows 8. We're closely approaching this year's Build conference (which we're attending), but that hasn't stopped Redmond from building momentum in the desktop app store.
Wordament is a boggle styled Xbox Windows Phone game where you have to create words from a 4x4 grid of letters. You earn points based on the letters used and compete against thousands of other Wordament players to earn the most points.
Wordament was recently updated to version 2.5 and adds the ability to login with your Facebook account so you can play against your Facebook friends. You can still log-in with your Windows ID with the Facebook log-in being optional.
Following up on the Huawei news from yesterday, the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Microsoft and Nokia were in advanced discussions about a Redmond purchase of the Finnish phone maker, but the talks have failed to materialize an agreement.
Citing “people familiar with the matter” the online paper notes that discussions eventually broke down due to “the price and Nokia's own strategic predicament”.
Deliberations were evidently held in London as recently as this month, but due to the talks faltering, they likely won’t be revived anytime soon. The WSJ also adds that both companies were close to an oral agreement with Microsoft purchasing the device division of Nokia, using some of Redmond’s reported $66 billion held in off-shore businesses. That method would have let Microsoft avoid a hefty tax penalty for purchasing the massive phone maker.
In a late breaking news story, Microsoft today announced due to feedback from the Xbox and gaming community they have changed “certain policies” regarding their controversial digital-rights management features of the upcoming Xbox One.
The details are listed on the Xbox news site, which is being hammered left and right, resulting in errors when trying to load.