new features

If you are a Skype user, you'll like some of the new features Windows Phone 8 brings to the table.

First, and maybe the most important improvement, is that Skype can keep you signed-in and reachable even when you've closed out the Skype app. Skype stays asleep in the background until an incoming call or message is received. Not only can you receive calls just like you would through your wireless carrier but staying dormant, you save battery life.

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Wikipedia v1.1 is now out now with custom colors

Wikipedia, by developer extraordinaire Rudy Huyn, is easily one of the nicest apps for Windows Phone. We said as much in our earlier mini-review and we stand by that statement.

Version 1.1 has just gone live in the Marketplace and there are quite a few welcome changes and additions to make this outstanding app even better…

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The Windows Phone 7.8 update may be more than just a pretty face

While all eyes are focused on Windows Phone 8, for many in our audience, the 7.8 update is just as important because due to contracts and the world recession, simply buying a new $500 phone is not an option this year.

We’ve repeated ad nauseam that the 7.8 update won’t come until well after Windows Phone 8 hits the streets. In fact, on our podcast we’ve put for the idea that 7.8 was a last minute decision by Microsoft.

That notion is now gaining ground as Microsoft is soliciting user feedback on what features they want most in the 7.8 update. That should tell you that 7.8 is far from complete at this point as they still haven’t locked in new features.

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The familiar Recycle Bin, coming to SkyDrive soon?

With the new SkyDrive having been rolled out last week with the new modern UI, it looks like Microsoft still has some plans for the service for adding new features.

One of those features being planned is evidently a Recycle Bin, which has been found via the coding within the site itself and was earlier tipped to LiveSide.net back in the spring.

No details have been given as to the exact functionality of such a feature but it’s easy to assume that it will allow you un-delete items for a period of 30 days or so as a sort of safety-net for your content. Any delay in rolling out this feature most likely has to do with getting the service up and running via their mobile apps, since they will also need to be updated for this tool.

No word on exact release dates but at the rate which Microsoft is moving these days, it probably won’t be too long.

Source: LiveSide.net

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Windows Phone 7.8 will share the same Start screen as Windows Phone 8 but little else

Although Windows Phone 7.8 is months from release, speculation as to what the update may or may not contain has been a hot topic for current Windows Phone users (see our editorial on the subject here).

The site WP7Forum.ru have a mixed reputation when coming to leaks and rumors, so like anything we should take this latest release with a grain of salt.

The data itself contains the supposed feature set of Windows Phone 7.8 and it is what many of us have come to expect—mostly the same with a few new apps. For instance, Skype is still “only an app” so no new system wide integration should be expected. That’s a technical issue and we’re 99% sure the new NT kernel is needed for those advanced VOIP features to keep it “on” all the time without killing your battery.

For the browser, IE9 will remain on Windows Phone 7.8 while WP8 of course gets the shiny new IE10.  Everything else, as far as we can tell, stays the same for Windows Phone 7.8 users if this list is to be believed. Interestingly, users can expect DataSmart to come to Windows Phone 7.8 as an app. DataSmart is Microsoft's answer for keeping track of your data so as to not go over your allocated plan.

Rumored feature set of Windows Phone 7.8 vs Windows Phone 8

Of curious note, Bing Audio is evidently getting TV support on Windows Phone 8. What does that mean? It sounds a lot like Microsoft has a native solution to IntoNow.

The service IntoNow is a lot like Shazam or SoundHound, it takes an audio sample and IDs the content but instead of music, IntoNow works for TV shows. It then allows you to share that info via social networks so the world knows exactly what you're watching. So far, we have nothing similar on Windows Phone as IntoNow is a small startup and WP is not on their radar. If this info is accurate, it looks like Microsoft may have built this into Windows Phone directly. That’s pretty great of consumers who don’t want to sign up for “yet another service”.

Even though this info may be accurate, due to its source we’ll still treat it as rumor until Microsoft tells us otherwise.

Update: See our in-depth follow up article to the Bing Audio + TV feature

Source: WP7Forum.ru; via WMPU

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With all the new features headed to the Windows Phone by way of the Mango update, the camera will be getting its fair share of attention. More and more are using their Windows Phone camera, in lieu of a stand alone camera, to document and share life. The Mango updates that focus on the camera will make capturing and sharing photos a little better.

The list is healthy so snap past the break to see the full list of the new features (that we know about) heading to your Windows Phone camera.

source: windowsteamblog

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While we're still delving in to all the little changes of the combo NoDo + Firmware (2103.11.3.3) Focus update, it's really the latter that is a bit more interesting due to the mini, undocumented "fixes" on board.

We've found at least two so far, but know there have to be more. Still, these two are awwwwesome, to say the least:

  • Capacitive buttons are temporarily disabled to prevent accidental "clicks": before the update, if you had an app open and you put your finger on the screen and dragged it down to the capacitive button area, you'd activate those buttons. Now you do not. This is huge for gaming on the Focus, to say the least. (Go ahead, try it. We'll wait...)
  • Camera auto defaults to "anti-shake": this was a no brainer, the Focus has an anti-shake setting on it, so why would you not want that enabled by default? Evidently, Samsung saw the light on this and now it's on automatically, resulting we think in a higher percentage of steady shots
  • No more Couch Potato: Shortly after the Samsung Focus hit the market, we learned that the screen was non-responsive when laying down on a soft surface such as a couch pillow (here's our video).  Post-Nodo this is no longer a problem.  WPCentral Reader Alan tipped us on this and sure enough, the Focus's screen is responsive in your hand, on a hard surface or when chilling out on a pillow.

Find anything else that is unique to this firmware (not NoDo)? Hit us up in comments and we'll post 'em.

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