android

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.

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Considering the Windows 8 ecosystem’s relative newness, Microsoft’s PC and tablet OS certainly has room to grow in the app department. Wouldn’t it be great if one machine could run both Windows 8 and another established tablet OS such as Android? The newly announced Asus Transformer Book Trio does just that, packing both operating systems into a dockable tablet model. One major caveat though: the Windows portion only works when docked.

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The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has been accused by Android owners that the corporation is biased against Google's mobile platform with its iPlayer TV catch-up service. If you thought it was just the Windows Phone community battling hard against the BBC to get a worthy iPlayer solution available, you'd be wrong. That said, the BBC Trust has found that the corporation has not been biased against competing platforms to iOS.

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Microsoft has often been criticized for not making effective commercials—something we think that has changed recently with the Surface campaign (and back stepped with ‘Scroogled’). But what about Windows Phone? We’ve seen some interesting ones in the past but nothing that could potentially go viral (or not be cringe worthy).

That may have all just changed as a new YouTube ad has gone live on the Windows Phone channel and if this doesn’t raise consumer curiosity, we’re not sure what will.

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Latest figures released by Kantar Worldpanel shows that Microsoft is actually starting to perform rather well in the US, one of the more important markets for the company. So much so that the platform is growing at a slightly faster rate than Google's Android. Microsoft still has a tough mountain to climb to tackle both Android and iOS, but it would seem as though the third position is firmly in its grasp.

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Microsoft is set to release an app for Android to help consumers on Google's mobile platform to switch to Windows Phone with less hassle. "Switch to Windows Phone" will locate identical apps or valid alternatives for Windows Phone 8 to replace existing Android apps. The plan is to make switching to Microsoft's platform as painless as possible.

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Level with me. You’re civil and fairly polite here in the comments on Windows Phone Central. But on other sites you’re a Microsoft fanboy. Don’t worry, there’s one deep down in all of us. Here’s some fodder for the next little flamewar you start with your Android frenemies – Microsoft will pocket dough for every single Android and Chrome OS device that Foxconn makes.

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A group of companies led by Microsoft are calling on European authorities to launch an antitrust investigation into Google. The motion behind the move is the search giant's hold over the mobile industry with Google services on smartphones.

The group (called FairSearch) of 17, which includes Nokia and Oracle claim that Google is acting immorally by giving away the Android mobile operating system to OEM partners with the requirement for its software and service applications (Google Maps, YouTube, etc.) to be installed and prominently displayed. 

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According to a report over on CITEworld, Evernote is currently witnessing a higher average revenue per user on Windows Phone, when compared against Android. While Google's platform has a rather large install base, leading to an overall increase in revenue, it's interesting to note that Windows Phone owners spend more money than Android consumers. it's a familiar situation and why developers tend to favour the likes of Apple and iOS.

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We may be picking a bit here on Android, but as many Windows Phone users know we are not familiar with getting games first or second. That’s why when we see Brotherhood of Violence and now Puzzle Craft go to Windows Phone 8 (and Windows 8) ahead of Android, we get a little excited.

Puzzle Craft is made by popular game makers Chillingo (though ported by SYZYGY Deutschland GmbH for WP8/Windows RT) and has been described as “…if The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Bejeweled had a baby”. If you’ve ever engaged in Farmville-like online games and happen to like the easier aspects of Bejeweled, this game is for you.

It’s also completely free with no ads. Yowza.

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Nokia may be set to hop onto the train to join both Apple and Microsoft in signing patent deals with Android manufacturers. Nokia has put forward two patent infringement claims against ViewSonic and it's been confirmed that both parties are willing to strike a deal. This will prove to be yet another blow to Google with a hardware partner validating Nokia's claims that its platform has IP infringement issues.

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Windows Phone has struggled in the past to gain traction and attract consumers with big brand apps and hardware. Nokia gave the platform a boost in 2011, and HTC, Samsung and Huawei have stepped up their game with Windows Phone 8 handsets. So with new hardware, a more mature operating system and marketing campaigns, how's the adoption going? We have some news for the UK.

Almost one-third of new Windows Phone owners in the UK came from competing platforms, according to sales estimates from Kantar. The company reports that 700,000 new users jumped aboard the past year, in the UK alone. The data reveals that the Nokia Lumia 800 and HTC 8X both accounted for six percent of UK smartphone sales during three months ending January 2013 - up from 2.4 percent in the same period last year.

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HTC has announced the HTC One, a new Android-powered smartphone. The device is made from an aluminium uni-body and is the company's attempt to stop the current down spiral by releasing new, unique hardware. So what's included in the new Android smartphone and how do the specifications compare to the latest Windows Phones?

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Gartner has released their data for smartphone sales and market share for the fourth quarter in 2012 and while the data is not conclusive by itself, it does show general trends in where the market is heading.

For Microsoft and partners the picture is most certainly better than it was one year ago, which is the good news. The bad news is the hill to climb to global relevancy is still as massive as ever, mostly due to the continued growth of Android (specifically Samsung) and iOS. Meanwhile BlackBerry (formerly RIM), is still bleeding heavily prior to its transition to BB10, showing a massive decline in sales.

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There is and has been elephant in the room among Windows Phone and Windows 8 users, the app gap. I’m not talking about numbers here, but the difference in high quality apps. Don’t get me wrong, we have our fair share of kickass applications, but if you’re a startup and you’re developing an app – it’s aimed at iOS or Android first. That’s ok, things will change as both Windows 8 and Windows Phone gain market share and mindshare. However until then you might not get to try out the latest fadapp (an app that’s a fad – like Words with Friends or Snapchat).

So what’s a tech nerd to do? Well, if you’ve got a Surface Pro, you can run some Android apps using BlueStacks software. Read on to find out how.

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Here’s an interesting twist: An HTC Windows Phone design is evidently being reused for a new Android phone. Yes, after a few cycles of having it in reverse it appears now that HTC will take their highly praised 8X design and recycle it for a new Android M7.

The images come via Android Police and while this is far from official (or 100% confirmed), the phone looks different enough from the 8X to be legitimate.

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The Nokia JBL PowerUp Wireless Speaker, an accessory that's marketed by the company for its Lumia range of Windows Phones (see our unboxing first impressions), has made an appearance in a Verizon commercial. The advertisement is for the HTC Droid DNA Android smartphone, which sports wireless charging, NFC and Bluetooth for similar functionality to Windows Phone when used with the wireless speaker.

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[Update: We've heard from Nokia on this matter and we have their response after the break]

According to an interview with Stephen Elop, the Nokia CEO is apparently open to other platforms, namely Android. Previously, Elop has stood by Microsoft and has reiterated the company's focus on improving its Lumia line of smartphones, cloud-based services and its partnership with the software (and now hardware) giant. Is the future of Nokia still uncertain? Sure. Are they considering Android? Not right now.

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