Windows Mobile Weekly Digest: Groove gets groovier and VAIO wows with its Phone Biz

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 Mobile

Windows Mobile

Electronics manufacturer VAIO, formerly part of Sony, unveiled their first Windows 10 Mobile phone, the Phone Biz. The snazzy new smartphone has a 5.5-inch Full HD display, Snapdragon 617 SoC, 3GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage, microSD slot (up to 64GB), and a 13MP camera.

Shortly after appearing on VAIO's website, some videos of the Phone Biz popped up online showing the device in action. The Phone Biz will hit shelves in April for about $425.00.

Windows Central went hands-on with the new Coship Moly X1, the thinnest LTE Windows Phone to date.

China's Xiaomi appears to be working on a Mi 5 with Windows 10 Mobile. Although the company's Mi 4 has a Windows 10 Mobile ROM available for download, the Mi 5 will be Xiaomi's first phone with a native version of the OS.

The Lumia 850 may have been cancelled, but that doesn't stop us from admiring a handful of alleged photos of of its metal design and front-facing flash.

An official render of the Lumia 850's younger sibling, the Lumia 650 was leaked online. A few more followed a couple of days later, showing off some other details and angles. The Lumia 650 was expected to be quietly announced early this month, but the date was pushed back by Microsoft.

Fast ring members received Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview build 10586.71, bringing with it improvements to Bluetooth, Edge browser, Kids Corner, and more. Slow Ring members have since gotten the update as well.

The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL both got firmware updates, improving GPS and call quality, plus addressing some stability issues.

In the wake of last week's freak out over their seemingly dismal Windows Phone report, AdDuplex's Alan Mendelevich was kind enough to shed some light on the numbers and put it all in perspective for us.

And the latest installment of #AskDanWindows, our editor-in-chief, Daniel Rubino explains why the rumors of Windows Phone's death have been greatly exaggerated.

Other notable items:



Microsoft pushed out a patch for Outlook Mail and Calendar that fixes email rendering issues and adds a new Year view.

Both Microsoft's Health app their Band 2 fitness tracker received complementary updates that add weight tracking, GPS Power Saver mode, and more.

Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has hit the 1 billion user mark. The next big challenge for WhatsApp is how to turn that billion into revenue.

Call-screening app Truecaller picked up some new features in its latest update. The new version now lets you add descriptive tags to numbers, view blocked messages in your call history, and most notably, make Skype-like VOIP calls.

Adobe Reader for Windows Phone got a slight makeover and a "Save As" option for PDFs.

And Groove Music for Windows 10 Mobile got a huge update. Behind the scenes, Groove's music organization process got streamlined, making things work a lot smoother.

From a user perspective, it's now easier to tell if a song is on your device, in the cloud, or from Music Pass. You can bring up full track details now by long-pressing it and selecting Properties. In addition, playlist editing is easier and album art can now be displayed on the Now Playing screen, rather than artist image.

Other notable items:



In gaming, Traffic Rider landed in the Windows Store. In this first-person endless racer, you choose from one of the more than 20 different motorcycles and speed your way through over 40 missions. The game uses sounds recorded from actual motorcycles and features many different riding environments, including day and nighttime.

If the fast lane isn't for you, perhaps you'll enjoy the sneeky world of espionage with Mission Unpossible for Windows PC and Phone. This title has you running your own spy agency, training recruits and running missions. Do you have what it takes to outsmart the competition?

Other notable items:

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

Seth Brodeur