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."
Windows 10 Mobile got a cumulative update this week. Along with the usual stability and performance enhancements, build 10586.318 fixes a battery drain issue, improves Cortana, and more.
A recent roadmap for Microsoft business customers revealed that Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 Mobile may be getting extensions like its PC counterpart.
While that may or may not be the case, Microsoft did confirm that support for fingerprint readers will arrive for Windows 10 Mobile this summer.
The company also confirmed that they will be phasing out the Wi-Fi Sense's password-sharing feature, which lets you pass wireless network credentials to your contacts on Outlook, Skype, and Facebook. The forced retirement comes from a lack of usage and the high cost of maintenance.
A couple of months after announcing that 512MB Windows phones would not be eligible for the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade, Microsoft officially raised the minimal hardware requirements for manufacturers to 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.
And on a negative note, Kantar's latest numbers show massive declines in Windows Phone usage around the globe year by year. Some markets have seen up to a 10% drop, with many consumers dropping Windows Phone for Android:
"For those switching from Windows, Android has offered a better user experience, with a variety of brands and models across a multitude of price points," said Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe. "In Italy and France, the strongest Windows Phone markets for a time, nearly 10% of Windows mobile users moved to Android in the three months ending March 2016. What's more, they opted for brands like Huawei, Wiko, and Asus, featuring mid-range devices that represent good value for the money."
Other notable items:
- Lumia 950 priced at £350 in the UK via Debenhams Plus
- People ask why I use a Lumia 950 XL, so here it is
- Mozo launching colorful covers for Lumia 950 and 950 XL, Candy Blast covers for Lumia 650
- Australian carrier Optus is giving Lumia 950 and 950 XL buyers a 'free' Xbox One
- Mozo's new Lumia 950, 950 XL and 650 covers available for pre-order
- Travelling with Continuum: A verdict, and what I want next
Microsoft confirmed that they have removed their FM Radio app from Windows 10 and will not be bringing it back. Though no reason was given, the Windows Insider Engineering team did point out that there are plenty of third-party alternatives.
One lucky Reddit user may have downloaded the upcoming OneDrive UWP app for Windows 10. A day after side-loading the old Windows 8 app, it appeared to have been updated. The user reportedly repeated the process on a virtual machine and arrived at the same results. Hopefully, this means a new OneDrive app is right around the corner for Fast Ring Insiders.
What Fast Ring folks did receive was a patch for Groove Music that exterminated a ton of bugs. Our very own Windows Central app was updated, too! This version delivers better-looking articles, a cleaner navigation bar, a custom notification sound, and more.
Instagram introduced a colorful new logo design and updated their apps on other platforms to reflect it. The newly-released Windows 10 Mobile app, which was not one of them, is expected to get it sometime this week.
And the 30 to 45 day period in which we thought we'd see a Starbucks app for Windows Phone app has come and gone, with nothing to show for it. We contacted the company, who told us that they "don't have a release date to share just yet." Stay tuned.
Other notable items:
- Tweeten picks up 2.0 update with the ability to constantly display 'retweet' and 'like' options
- Ola Money digital wallet makes its way to Windows 10 Mobile
- India's RailYatri train status service updated for Windows 10 and Mobile
- OneDrive for Windows 10 Mobile adds automatic screenshot uploads and more
- You can give an audiobook to a friend for free with Audible's new recommendation feature
- Best AirDrop alternatives for Windows
- 8 Zip Lite now lets you unpack any archive file type
- Edjing Pro offers a full-featured music DJ app for Windows 10 PC and Mobile
- AppRaisin updated with new headline editing features and more
- Tencent might release a QQ or WeChat Windows 10 UWP app after all
- Twitter, Uber pick up minor updates for Windows 10 Mobile
- Red Bull TV nabs Windows 10 and Mobile support in latest update
- Misfit snags new look and support for Windows 10 PC and Mobile
- You-Doo will now serve up location-based to-do lists on Windows 10 PC and Mobile
- Fenice gets yet another new logo, Redstone notification support and more
Valiant Hearts: The Great War was released as a universal app for Windows 10 PC and Mobile this week. The World War I epic follows some ordinary people who do extraordinary things to survive the great war.
It features adventure, puzzles, exquisite comic book artwork, and a heartfelt, emotional storyline that is not often found in games of its kind.
REDCON – Strike Commander is a wholly different kind of war game for Windows 10. This steampunk-themed battle epic is an action-packed assault on the senses.
And we gave you a closer look at Ski Safari 2, the popular endless downhill racer that recently made its way over to Windows Phone and PC.
Other notable items:
- Bust a move with Hippo Sports for Windows Phone and PC
- Defense Zone blasts its way to this week's myAppFree Deal
- Today's AdDuplex HERO App is Phantom Frenzy, ghost busting from your Windows Phone
- Think ahead or die in Los Aliens for Windows Phone and PC
- Light House, a puzzling game of energy delivery for Windows Phone and PC
Be sure to weigh in on this week's news in the comments section. See you next week!