This week in Windows Mobile: NuAns Neo going globetrotting, NFC Tap to Pay is near, and Mirror's Edge gets a companion

There's a lot going on in the world of Windows phone and Windows 10 Mobile. So much, in fact, that it is sometimes tough to catch every important story.

Device rumors come and go. New apps join the Windows 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."

Windows Mobile

Windows Mobile

Windows PC and Mobile users in the Fast ring were updated to preview build 14361, bringing with it Hyper-V container, Windows Ink improvements, new icons, and the run-of-the-mill bug fixes.

Dona Sarkar, the newly-appointed head of the Windows Insider Program, said via Twitter that the team has "some really interesting things" in store for the next Insider build. Word has it that whatever they have planned could be related to Microsoft's revelations at E3 2016 tomorrow.

NuAns announced that they are taking their NEO smartphone running Windows 10 Mobile to Kickstarter to fund a worldwide launch:

"We are pleased to report that we are launching our Kickstarter campaign on the last week of June 2016 where consumers will have the opportunity to pre-purchase one of these units."

The NuAns NEO, which is currently only available in Japan, is best known for its swappable "TWOTONE" covers that can be mixed and match on the top and bottom of the phone. It sports a 5-inch 1280x720 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, and is Continuum-ready with its USB Type-C port.

And a video from CHI '16: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in May surfaced showcasing Microsoft's pre-touch technology from the canceled Nokia McLaren.

Other notable items:

  • Win a Lumia 950 in our Do More Gems day five sweepstakes!



This week we saw Microsoft's GroupMe messaging app expand from a smartphone app to Windows 10 PC as well.

Amazon removed their Windows Phone app from Store search results, with no apparent plans to develop a Windows 10 version. The app is still available via direct store link and will continue to work, although the company is directing users to use their mobile browsers instead.

Bank of America returned to Windows as a universal app for Windows 10 PC and Mobile, and as one of our latest Windows 10 Gems. The newly-redesigned app lets you find ATMs and branches, pay bills, deposit checks, and much more.

Microsoft's Authenticator two-factor verification app is now available for Insiders running "Redstone" builds. The app currently lets you authenticate by generating a code or sending a push notification that you can use to accept or deny the request. In the future, it will also be able to unlock nearby devices using Bluetooth.

After missing their initially planned timeframe, Starbucks' digital head, Adam Brotman, said that their highly-anticipated Windows 10 app will arrive sometime in June.

And Microsoft has big plans for version 2.0 of their Wallet app for Windows 10 Mobile. Windows Central obtained an internal build and found that it not only features the ability to store loyalty and customer cards, but it also supports NFC-based tap-to-pay.

Other notable items:



Electronic Arts released Mirror's Edge Companion app for Windows 10 Mobile to help players on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation track their progress through the City of Glass. There is a fully rendered 3D map and an information database packed with data and lore about places in the game. You can also set your own challenges, bookmark content, and track friends' and other players' adventures through the city.

And a new developer profile of the German company Flare Games demonstrates how lucrative developing for the Windows platform can be. Their game Royal Revolt II, which is also available on iOS and Android, gets a third of its revenue from Windows devices.

Other notable items:

Be sure to weigh in on this week's news in the comments section. See you next week!

Seth Brodeur