There's a lot going on in the world of Windows Phone. So much, in fact, that it is sometimes tough to catch every important story.
Device rumors come and go. New apps join the Windows Phone Store, and your favorite app can get a big update with a new look or new features.
Therefore, every week we will compile a list of the Windows Phone news that you just shouldn't miss. Welcome to the "Windows Mobile Weekly Digest."
1. Windows Mobile
The Lumia 950 XL is tearing up the track in Ferrari's Formula One car. The team is using the phone to gather and communicate information about the car during trial runs.
But the 950 XL might be the only Lumia going fast, as Microsoft's latest numbers show a huge drop in smartphone sales. The company sold an anemic 2.3 million Lumia phones in FY16 Q3, down from 8.6 million the same time last year.
In fairness, there's been very little marketing from this line of Lumias, not to mention that the AT&T Lumia 950 is the only carrier-branded one being sold at this time in the U.S.
Microsoft has launched a contest for Windows Insiders to come up with design ideas for Continuum's user interface:
"Starting May 9th, you'll have the opportunity to turn your app design into a real Continuum app, the top 10 app creators will be invited (with expenses paid) to Redmond, WA where they will pitch their apps to Microsoft executives. The grand prize winner will receive a fully loaded Surface Book, an MSDN subscription, an Office 365 subscription, and advertising credit on the Windows Store."
And speaking of Continuum, Acer revealed their Liquid Extend accessory at their media event on Thursday. The "laptop kit," which connects to a Windows 10 smartphone and provides it with a screen, keyboard, and touchpad is due sometime in Q3 2016.
Windows 10 Mobile preview build 14327 was released to Fast Ring Insiders, finally giving them a taste of Messaging Everywhere. The new build also removes Skype integration from the Messaging app, amongst other things.
Other notable items:
- Smartphones are dead Part II: Evolve or die, Microsoft's ultra-mobile PC strategy
- Unlocked Lumia 640 XL gets price cut to $200 at the Microsoft Store
- Lumia 650 to be sold by Cricket Wireless starting May 6 for $130
- Mozo teases upcoming real wood covers for Lumia 950 and 950 XL
- Someone got their Windows 10 Mobile phone to work with their in-car display
Messaging company Viber, who recently started testing a Windows 10 universal app, just announced this week that they will be instituting end-to-end encryption for all of their services. The privacy measure will be across every app, save the Windows Phone 8.
Home music system maker Sonos confirmed this week that an official universal Windows 10 app is not coming. But not all is lost, however, as third-party Sonos app Phonos just launched a preview of their UWP app.
Don't hold your breath waiting for Opera Mini for Windows Phone to get updated any time soon. The company says that, although they do intend to keep every version of their browser secure, they have no plans to update their app. They also stated that there is currently no Windows 10 app in the works.
The developers of the VLC media player said that a universal app for Windows 10 Mobile will be released next week as a public beta, with an official version coming in early May. A closed beta for a PC version will come out in early May as well, followed by an official launch later in the month.
And the universal update for Groove Music has been released for everyone running Windows 10 Mobile. This latest iteration puts it on par with the PC app, complete with the same version number and all the features.
Other notable items:
- Bandsider update adds user-created challenges for Microsoft Band users
- Tweet It! adds way to change Twitter's inline media sizes with latest update
- Instagram beta for Windows 10 Mobile snags an update
- Fenice update for Windows 10 PC and Mobile adds compact view and more
- Vector Watch to focus on Windows 10 for future app versions
- AppRaisin adds a dark mode, fixes some bugs, and more
- TeamViewer adds Continuum support to Windows 10 Mobile app
- Game of Thrones comes to Fanband while Cortanium snags new commands
- Organize your life with the task manager 2Day for Windows Phone and PC
- Hive launches Windows Phone app for its smart thermostat and other devices in the UK
- Microsoft releases small update for Windows Camera
- Polarr Photo Editor Pro for Windows 10 down from $19.99 to $0.99 until April 24
- Gadgets app snags a minor update on Windows 10 Mobile
- Facebook for Windows Phone 8.1 gets updated
- The Daily Mail's This is Money section is now a Windows 10 PC and Mobile app
- Hope Calendar 2.0 brings appointment details, a dark theme and more
- Stay ahead of the downpour with It's Gonna Rain for Windows Phone
- Client for Hangouts gets more secure with Windows Hello
- myTube beta update brings a fresh coat of paint to the app
- gMaps lets you take your maps offline in latest update
- Deal Alert: Old Look photo editing app on Windows 10 is free for limited time
Game Troopers released their new real-time strategy game, Age of Cavemen, on Windows 10 phones and PCs. This blast from the past has you building a village and training a prehistoric army of cavemen to defend it.
Prepare to get your sci-fi on because Mi-Clos Studio will be bringing their hit game Out There: Ω Edition to Windows 10 PC and Mobile. The space adventure will blast off, complete with leader boards and over 50 achievements on April 28.
Minecraft maker Mojang announced that tickets for Minecon 2016 go on sale May 6 and 7. Tickets for the two-day event, which takes place September 24-25 in Anaheim, California, will run you $160 apiece.
King, of Candy Crush fame, has delivered their game Paradise Bay to Windows 10 and Mobile as a universal app. Paradise Bay is a simulator that has you creating your own tropical getaway, exploring the wild, and unlocking secrets of the island.
Other notable items:
- Threefall, a ridiculously fast-paced Windows Phone game scores as today's AdDuplex HERO app
- Disney Crossy Road, the Wonderful World gets pixelated with this addictive Windows game
- Rage Racing 3D: bash your way through traffic with this Windows game
- Lamphead, a dark adventure for Windows Phone is today's myAppFree Deal
- Tricky Color, a deceptively hard Windows puzzler, is today's AdDuplex HERO App
- Gem Well, a simple Windows 10 puzzler full of bounce
Be sure to weigh in on this week's news in the comments section. See you next week!