Windows Mobile Weekly Digest: Alcatel OneTouch, WhatsApp, and Two Dots

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 Phone

Windows Phone

More and more Lumia 950 and 950 XL owners in the UK and Ireland are seeing the firmware update that began rolling out last week. That likely means that other locations should be receiving it soon as well.

It appears to be official that AT&T's Lumia 950 is set to get monthly updates directly from Microsoft in the first test of the Windows as a Service strategy. This is a shift from previous updates that needed to be approved by carriers before distribution.

T-Mobile's first Windows 10 offering, which should be coming in the next few weeks, will be the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL. Though the Fierce XL is an entry-level phone, T-Mobile employee training materials make mention of features available in higher-end devices, like Continuum, suggesting that more powerful Windows 10 will eventually be joining the lineup.

HP may be preparing to unveil their own Windows 10 Mobile phone at February's Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. A phone called the HP Falcon, sporting a 5.4-inch 768x1024 display, was detected by AdDuplex in early December, and a new report claims that HP is set to make the reveal at the tech conference in Barcelona.

Lastly, we got our hands on the Microsoft Lumia 550 and gave you a close look, as well as our initial impressions. See how it stacks up to the Lumia 635 and Lumia 640:

Other notable items:



It was a rough beginning to the new year for WhatsApp users. Possibly due to high usage, the service appeared to have issues delivering messages and may have even gone down completely for a short time as midnight struck in various locales.

Fenice, the third-party Twitter app for PC and Mobile got a huge update this week. The app, which was recently redesigned for Windows 10, picked up significant interface changes and a ton of improvements and fixes.

The official Ring Video Doorbell app, previously available only for computer and tablet, is now available for Windows 10 smartphones. It also got some new features like filtering, deleting, and sharing recordings, live call zooming, and "stealth mode" answering.

Flipkart's public beta is now available for Windows 10 computers and smartphones.

A SiriusXM streaming app may be heading to Windows 10 soon. In an email to a Reddit user, a company representative said that "the app will be available in 2016 for Windows 10 smartphones, tablets and computers."

The popular IFTTT Maker for Cortana returned to the Windows Store after being removed for copyright concerns. The app is back under the new moniker Cortana Triggers.

Other notable items:



Fallensouls: Fire War, a popular online multiplayer game on iOS and Android, has been released for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile.

Another hit game from other platforms called Cooking Fever has made its way to Windows Phone. Cooking Fever is a time management game that has you slinging custom-made meals to hungry folks in your own virtual restaurant.

A new puzzle game called Two Dots also arrived on Windows 10 PCs and phones. The object is to complete goals by connect dots of the same color. Though simple in principle, Two Dots is harder than it looks, and very addictive.

Codeglue, the makers of the Rocket Riot, are working to bring the shooter to Windows 10 as a universal app. Rocket Riot was previous available on Windows Phone 7 and 8.1, and looks to evolve with the platform.

Other notable items:

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

Seth Brodeur