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
After a successful pilot program that started in 2014, the NYPD is promoting Windows Mobile. All 36,000 officers on the force will be carrying Windows phones "within weeks," giving them access to custom apps, state and federal databases, and easy communication.
Microsoft completed their previously-announced acquisition of SwiftKey. The company plans to integrate the SwiftKey's features into their own Word Flow keyboard but has committed to supporting the developer's apps on Android and iOS.
Insiders in those rings will now also benefit from a new firmware auto-publishing feature that Microsoft instituted this week. This new mechanism fixes an issue that required Insiders to roll back their phones Windows Phone 8.1 to get firmware updates.
Since our initial hands-on with the Microsoft Lumia 650 wasn't in-depth enough to learn a lot about its camera, we put together some picture samples to give you an idea of how it measures up against other smartphones.
And with a fresh batch of Windows 10 Mobile phones hitting the market recently and in the near future, Windows Central offers up our list of the best Windows phones of 2016.
Other notable items:
- Poland Microsoft Store begins pre-orders for new Lumia 650
- Acer UK won't sell its new Android phone, but seems excited for the Jade Primo
- Get a £75 gift card from Amazon UK when you buy a Lumia 950
- AT&T starts selling the Lumia 950 as a prepaid GoPhone for $598
- Microsoft adds Insider program support for four new Windows Phones
- National Geographic used a Lumia 950 to capture the aurora
- Vodafone Italy says Windows 10 Mobile OTA update could launch the week of March 7
- Windows 10 Mobile rumored to add support in the future for MediaTek chips
- Mozo's wood effect back for the Lumia 650 is simple, yet stylish
Messaging giant WhatsApp announced that they plan to end support for Windows Phone 7.1 and other mobile operating systems by the end of 2016. Other phone platforms on the list include Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.1, Android 2.2 and all versions of BlackBerry.
The official Windows Central app got a couple of updates this week. The first brought third-party YouTube support and its follow-up improved automatic refreshing and tweaked some theme-related features.
Music service Deezer launched an official Universal app for PC and phone. The app is currently available as a free preview.
College basketball fans should be happy to know that an NCAA universal Windows 10 app is due out before the start of "March Madness" later this month. According to Microsoft, "the app will include exclusive Windows 10 features including Live Tiles, allowing fans to pin their favorite teams to their Start menu, as well as live alerts, including upsets, overtimes, close games and live video streaming of all 67 tournament games."
Fitbit for Windows 10 got updated with some new features. This latest patch adds goal achievements, Continuum improvements, improvements to logging, and some redesigned elements.
And Dropbox made a lot of improvements to their mobile app as well. Amongst the many changes were advanced Continuum support, as well as better Office Mobile integration ,and the added ability to share file links while uploading.
Other notable items:
- Microsoft Health updated with promised Lose It! support
- Microsoft Photos and Windows Camera get modest updates
- Facebook Beta picks up another small update for Windows 10 Mobile
- Slack beta for Windows Phone grabs minor bug fix as company plans voice and video chat
- WhatsApp picks up an update with minor UI tweaks
- Catch up on the forecast with Perfect Weather Universal for Windows 10
- nPerf network speed test arrives for Windows Phone 8.1 and 10
- Microsoft pushes updates for Outlook Mail and Wallet
- Vector Smart Watch updates firmware and Windows Phone app with new features
- Facebook for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile updated
- OneDrive, Windows Camera, and Translator apps updated for Windows 10 Mobile
- How the Remote Desktop App works with Windows 10 Mobile
- Groove Music for Windows 10 Mobile rolls out a minor update
- Client for Hangouts is a Universal Windows 10 app that lets you chat with your Google contacts
- Tweet It! 2.6 brings the ability to share photos, texts, links and much more
With their game heading to the Windows 10 Store as a universal app, we had the pleasure of sitting down with the COO of Imperia Online Ltd, Cvetan Rusimov. Check out our interview and learn more about the company, and more specifically, how Imperia Online fits into the Windows ecosystem.
We gave King's Papa Pear Saga a try to see if the Windows 10 PC and Mobile game is as addictive as its candy-crushing cousins.
And Mike Ybarra, Microsoft's director of program management for Xbox, says that the Univeral Windows Platform will help their mobile gaming plans. Ybarra spoke with PC World and discussed the company's vision for gaming on Windows 10 computers, mobile phones, and Xbox One.
Other notable items:
- Protecting the Universe with Shooty Sky Heroes, a fast-paced Windows Phone arcade game
- Hexa Blast, a monster busting puzzle game for Windows Phone
- Gridd 2, an endless space racer for Windows Phone, is today's myAppFree Deal
- Master the slide with Top Gear: Drift Legends for Windows 10 PC and Mobile
- Race against the clock with Rally Point 4 for Windows PC and Phones
Be sure to weigh in on this week's news in the comments section. See you next week!