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 650 officially went on sale at the Microsoft Stores in the U.S and Canada this week for the low price of $199.00 unlocked. If you're considering picking one up, be sure to check out our review.
Microsoft's developer conference Build 2016 took place in San Francisco, and there we learned about some of the upcoming features for Windows 10 Mobile.
One thing devs will be able to include in their apps will be "chaseable" Live Tiles, which, when pressed, will bring the user directly to the story in the app that is appearing on the tile.
Toast notifications will be much more "interactive" as well. They will be capable of including larger images, more information, and different options for when they are acknowledged.
But far and away the coolest feature demonstrated at Build 2016 was Xbox controller and game support for Continuum Not only will gamers be able to use their controller on their phone, but they will also have the option to beam their game to a nearby PC. *Windows Central went hands-on with the Xbox controller support to give you a closer look.
Microsoft's Windows and Devices head Terry Myerson ruffled some feathers when he said that Windows Phone is "not the core" for its developer interest for the time being:
"We're fully committed to that 4-inch screen, there will be a time for it to be our focus, but right now it's part of the family but it's not the core of where I hope to generate developer interest over the next year
However, he did reiterate the company's commitment to the platform and when you take a moment to look at Microsoft's strategy, Myerson's comment actually makes a lot of sense.
Other notable items:
Bank of America has begun internal testing of their Windows 10 app. Though leaked pictures of their internal website had people thinking it may actually be released to the public this week, the banking app is not due out until sometime this summer.
The Windows 10 Mobile Camera app got updated adding the previously promised forced HDR option with on, off and auto modes. The update also brings video pausing to the phone app, which was already available on Windows 10 PCs and tablets.
Speaking of videos, Instagram has rolled out support for video uploads of up to 60 seconds, quadrupling the former 15-second limit.
HD camera maker GoPro confirmed that it will discontinue providing updates for its Windows Phone app. It's unclear whether or not this is in preparation for a future universal app, but all logos and mention of the Windows Store have been removed from the company's website.
And the Windows 10 social media experience will soon get a whole lot better. Microsoft announced at Build 2016 that Facebook universal Windows 10 apps will be coming "soon." This includes not only the primary Facebook app, but also Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook's advertising SDK.
Other notable items:
- Active Fitness and Winter Sports apps add over 50 new Microsoft Band 2 activities
- Spotify update brings performance improvements and bug fixes
- Microsoft rolls out update for Movies &TV app
- Microsoft is shutting down Lumia Voices on April 12
- Photo Shader, a fantastic and easy to use photo editor for Windows 10
- Deezer preview update for Windows 10 adds support for its Premium+ service
- Our special Build Edition of the Windows Central app going live in the Store
- Third-party Tinder app 6tin adds support for big emojis in latest update
- Bandsider gets updated again to make you even more social
- WhatsApp picks up an update on Windows 10 Mobile
- Engadget launches its universal Windows 10 PC and Mobile app
- OneNote for Windows 10 Mobile adds audio recording feature
- Microsoft Band 2 can now handle more tiles while Health app adds social challenges
- HP All-in-One Printer Remote now a universal Windows 10 app
We reviewed MouseCraft, the popular puzzle game that recently made its way over from other platforms.
And Minecraft's developer, Mojang, said they to bring the same customization that players on PCs have to the mobile and Windows 10 versions with the help of command blocks.
"Using command blocks, you can add new Minecraft rules that do things like teleport players to a different part of the virtual world, reward them with a powerful sword, confine them to a jail, summon a flying pig into existence and obliterate all dangerous zombies."
Though there's no concrete timeline yet, Mojang is assessing the requirements and forming a game plan.
Other notable items:
- Grenade Madness, an online multiplayer blast of a game for Windows 10
- Free Slots Fun Factory, pint-sized casino gaming from your Windows Phone
- Try your luck with Simon's Slots, casino gaming for Windows PC and Phones
- Looking for Laika, a challenging Windows Phone arcade game scores as today's myAppFree Deal
- Create your own path to victory with Draw-A-Way for Windows Phone and PC
- Tricky Color, a Windows puzzle game full of visual twists
Be sure to weigh in on this week's news in the comments section. See you next week!