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 Phone Weekly Digest."
Windows Phone News
The biggest piece of news to come out of Build 2015 that was solely devoted to phones is that Continuum will be built into Windows 10 for phones. As demonstrated in a new video. This news means that you will be able to connect your phone to a monitor and a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse and use it like you would a PC. However, it does look like you will need a new phone to make that happen.
Despite being run on just a smartphone, apps, like the Office suite, will display in full computer mode as if you were using a PC, tablet, or Xbox.
Speaking of Office and Windows 10 for phones, it looks like the preview build with Office got pushed back, missing the "end of April" delivery we were expecting.
In other news, a 7-inch Windows Phone, called the Ramos Q7, was revealed. It's likely never to make it outside of China's smartphone market, but it is interesting nonetheless.
There was also more evidence of an upcoming LG Windows Phone appeared in documents on company's website. Known only as the LG VW820SS, it looks to be a Windows Phone variant of a phone with the model number LG VW820. With nothing else to go on, we'll just have to wait and see for now.
The widespread number of budget devices like the Lumia 640XL also led Jason Ward to ponder whether or not low-end Windows Phones are hurting Microsoft's smartphone brand?
Other notable items:
- Lumia 640 already discounted in India, get one now for just ₹9,999
- [ITC judge rules Microsoft smartphones infringe on two InterDigital patents]
- Alleged Windows Phone multi-window images make their way on the Internet [Update: They're fake]]
- Microsoft launches the Lumia 430 in India for INR 5,299
- Microsoft addresses the 'Hamburger menu' and other design decisions in Windows 10 for phones
In the world of apps, VLC for Windows Phone got two updates in as many days. The first update, brought better background audio sync and bug fixes. Update number two was packed with stability improvements.
Skype announced a fascinating venture, an India-specific app, tailored for 2G/3G networks and entry-level devices
The Microsoft Health app got updated as well. New features include:
- Multi-Device support: Track your steps and calories without the Microsoft Band, using the motion sensor on the phone you own
- Connected Apps: Share your bike data with Strava and MapMyRide
- Sleep: Auto-detect your sleep without activating the Sleep tile.
Movie Creator Beta also saw some improvements. The two biggies were 4K video input support and OneDrive integration.
And on a sad note, SnapChat's continued crusade against Windows Phone has resulted in the demise of Rudy Huyn's app 6Discover. The company filed a copyright infringement claim against 6discover, which got it pulled from the Windows Phone Store.
Other notable items:
- Facebook Beta for Windows Phone updated with a couple of improvements
- Pocket Casts for Windows Phone: Now available to supercharge your podcast experience
- Zomato heading to the U.S. shortly, updates app with Cortana integration
- Cisco launches open beta of its AnyConnect Windows Phone app
This was quietly a pretty big week for gaming on Windows Phone.
Game Troopers, developers of Make it Rain, put out a new Xbox enabled game called Overkill 3, that blurs the lines between mobile and computer gaming. With console-grade graphics, this third-person shooter features crazy weapon customization, intense gameplay, and epic boss battles.
Windows Phone also welcomed three hugely popular games that were previous only available on other platforms. Their arrival signals the start of the closing of the "app gap" between Windows Phone and its competitors.
Firstly, matching game Threes! found its way onto our phones, which is a big deal in its own right. Throw in the fact that it is also free, compared to the $1.99 price tag you'll find on iOS and Android, and now you're cooking with gas.
The award-winning game Monument Valley also made its Windows Phone debut this week. This beautiful architecture-manipulating puzzle game was named iMore's best iOS game of 2014 and now it's in the Windows Phone Store.
And lastly, the Frogger-esque endless hopper, Crossy Road found its way onto Windows Phone and Windows 8.1. The retro-style arcade game is a world-wide smash hit, so it's a good sign to see it join the Windows family.
Other notable items:
- Smash Champs - a beastly battle game for your Windows Phone
- Hitman GO for Xbox on Windows and Windows Phone is now available
- Lep's World 3 - chasing down the gold in this Windows Phone platformer
- The Sims FreePlay goes DIY in latest update
- Metro 2033 Wars – a post-apocalyptic strategy game for Windows Phone
Be sure to weigh in on this week's news in the comments section. See you next week!