windows phone

Windows Phone Central visits the Windows 8 and Windows Phone development group UI CENTRIC

Located several floors up in an unassuming east London building is a quiet office where some of the most creative and beautiful experiences available on Windows Phone and Windows 8 are being developed. You may have never heard of them, but the guys at UI CENTRIC have produced quality apps that you’ve most likely enjoyed if you’ve been an avid Windows Phone user. We recently had the chance to visit that office and chat with CEO Dan Ulzhoefer, to find out how they work, what they’re most proud of, and their plans for the future.

Dan had some great experience to share which we’re sure would benefit any developers reading this article. UI CENTRIC are currently hiring developers with a passion for Windows Phone or Windows 8, so if that sounds like you, check out the interview below for more details on how to contact them.

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Making apps for Windows Phone? Then you’re a developer and we’ve got some good news for you. Microsoft is slowly rolling out a redesigned certification workflow that should help you, as a developer, see reduced times for certifying a Windows Phone app. It’s been one of the most requested piece of feedback that developers have given Microsoft and it’s now being implemented. More details below.

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It's old news when we talk about Microsoft's problem with getting developers on-board with both Windows and Windows Phone. The company has had trouble having new content developed and released on its own operating systems alongside iOS and Android. It's no secret that Microsoft platforms are generally left in the dark — just take a look at Flappy Bird.

Now, according to The Verge, Redmond could be considering Android apps to solve its problems. We've previously looked at what Microsoft is actively doing to help alleviate their market growth issues, but there could always be more done to bring across more platform support. 

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Just in case you thought we actually slept around here, we have new updates to share with you today. A fairly substantial one for our new Windows 8 app which is already live and waiting, and a small patch for our trusty Windows Phone offering which we're expecting to be published later today.

You can pick up the Windows Phone app from the marketplace right here including a free unlimited trial with ads, and you'll find our Windows 8 app here in the store for free with advertising. Curious as to what we've been working on this time? Check after the break to find the full change list for both apps.

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It is a question many of us ponder and the topic of a Windows Phone Central forums discussion. What’s your favorite screen size?

Is it the smaller, 4" screen of the Nokia Lumia 520? Maybe the 4.3” screen of the HTC 8X tickles your fancy best. Then you have the 4.5” screens of the Nokia Lumia 92x series/Lumia 1020 and the whopper of a screen on the Lumia 1520 that measures 6” in size. How about an 8” screen or would that be too big?

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There’s no question about it really, Windows Phone is the mobile operating system in third place. Ahead of it are Android and iOS. Android is at the top, with most analysts agreeing that it holds north of 70% of the global mobile market share.

A new report from ABI Research reaffirms market share research from the past few quarters and gives us insight into how Windows Phone is doing globally.

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Nokia is a massive company, there's no disputing that fact, but the manufacturer has been able to engage with its community of consumers and developers successfully since joining Windows Phone (and prior to that too). Interacting with customers and the community in general, whether it be through social media or even hosting themed events, is an important task but Nokia is one of those companies which is easy to approach, no matter who you are.

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The wait has certainly been an enduring one, but we're almost there folks. The VLC team has updated the Kickstarter blog with an entry detailing some work carried out on the port to WinRT platforms. The team believes they'll be in the position to submit the app once again to the Windows Store this week, so we should see VLC on Windows 8 in due course. What started a few months ago as a Kickstarter project is soon to become reality. Pass the break to see some screenshots.

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Nokia released the company's Q4 2013 financial report earlier this week, revealing some rather disappointing data. Sales of Lumia Windows Phones were estimated to be lower in Q4 2013, compared to Q3. While Nokia failed to provide hard numbers in the report itself, the company did go on record to confirm the number of sales at 8.2 million units (compared to 8.8 in Q3). Then again, even the juggernaut Samsung Mobile had a rough time this quarter, meaning this isn't a Nokia anomaly.

Today, AdDuplex, one of the largest ad service providers for Windows Phone apps, has published a blog post attempting to analyse how the platform performed through the holiday season, compared to previous quarters.

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Microsoft has recently discussed internally somewhat unconventional tactics to help drag Windows Phone up to the level of Android, closing the gap at a faster rate. The Information has had the opportunity to look at internal documentation, which covers numerous scenarios as to how Microsoft planned to compete against Google in the industry. Head past the break for the full read.

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The Nokia-Microsoft deal is marching steadily to a conclusion as being approved by the United States, the European Union, and of course, Nokia's shareholders. However, China is still reluctant to give its word. Recently China's Ministry of Commerce has started a second round of probes into Microsoft's acquisition case. This time the government has a new emphasis: antitrust.

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Instagram is one of those social services that many people simply can't live without. Sharing photography with friends and family can create magical moments for people, through locations, events and other situations. Now that we've finally got a Windows Phone app available on the store, Instagram has now announced a new feature - Instagram Direct.

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There’s no denying the massive market share that Android currently has in the mobile landscape. Android is basically crushing the competition globally. For example, 81.0% of all handsets shipped were running Android in Q3 2013. Compare that to iOS at 12.9% and Windows Phone at 3.6% for the same period.

Why is Android so dominant? Is it the number of apps in the Google Play store? Maybe it’s the “openness” of the platform and the ability to customize every aspect of the phone? Or could it be the licensing costs that OEMs pay Google to use Android (aka nil)? It could very well be those licensing costs since Microsoft is considering doing the same with both Windows Phone and Windows RT in the future.

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Nokia is a special company. There's no disputing this fact and even those who follow other companies within the same, competitive industry agree that the Finnish manufacturer has brought a great deal of innovation to the table.

To celebrate what the company has achieved, Nokia has published the above video taking a quick look at nearly 150 years of business.

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Joe Belfiore is a man the community has come to know as the face of Windows Phone at Microsoft. He’s been on hand for all major previews and launches of the operating system and runs the team responsible for Windows Phone product definition and design.

Belfiore recently sat down with the BBC for an interview about the current growth in market share that Windows Phone is experiencing. He did this last week, but we missed it and figured a few of you might have missed it as well. There are some interesting points brought up by Belfiore that are worth pointing out. There’s also a video after the break and some highlights from the BBC interview.

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Sky and Windows don't go well together. We're including both Windows 8 and Windows Phone in that group, by the way. You may remember our campaign to help drum up some support to show Sky just how much demand there is for Windows clients in the UK. Little did we know the same demand was being voiced over in Italy.

While we continue to wait here in the UK, Italians rejoiced at news Sky was looking to release its Go app for Windows Phone in the region. This has now been confirmed. Sky Go (for Italy anyway) is now well on the way.

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Microsoft currently has three operating systems set up for different hardware. Should you be on a desktop, laptop or supported tablets, Windows 8.1 is what powers the system. Windows RT 8.1 is loaded on the Surface 2 and other tablets with ARM chips. Finally, we have Windows Phone 8 for smartphones. 

With Microsoft working on further uniting its services and software, how will Windows operating systems look in the future? According to Executive VP Devices and Studios at Microsoft, Julie Larson-Green, the company will no longer have three versions of Windows, but will unite all products under one umbrella.

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