Windows Phone Weekly Digest: December 13, 2015

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."

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Windows Phone

On Monday, Windows Insiders with the Lumia 950 and 950 XL received Windows 10 Mobile build 10586.29. Originally pushed out last Friday for other phone models, the build includes bug fixes and performance improvements, and not much more. If you previously opted out of receiving preview builds, it's easy to start getting them again.

The next day, the same version went out to non-Insiders, including those with AT&T phones, which may have signaled the end of Microsoft's dependence on carriers to roll out updates.

This update is a huge piece of Microsoft's vision of "Windows as a service" (WaaS). Here is how they are able to pull it off now, as opposed to their past struggles with carrier interference.

We went hands-on with the Xiaomi Mi4, which recently got its own Windows 10 Mobile ROM.

And even though rumors have been strong about Microsoft's plans to design their own Surface Phone, Panos Panay was quick to dodge questions about it in a recent interview. It's OK Panos, we know.

Other notable items:



The native Phone app for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile was updated with Call Duration, a handy addition.

The ever-popular Reddit client Baconit picked up the ability submit posts to any subreddit, as well as a host of improvements to its UI, markdown parsing, and comments, and more.

Aeries, the third-party Twitter app, went universal on Windows 10. Not only was it completely redesigned for the new OS, but Aeries added a ton of cool bells and whistles.

Hike Messenger has also been redesigned for Windows Phone. The devs are currently looking for guinea pigs to beta test the new version.

Uber's Windows 10 Mobile app got a makeover with its latest update, too.

Microsoft's Wallet app can now help you store all of your retail loyalty cards.

And Groove Music for Windows 10 Mobile got a huge tune-up. Some of the more noticeable tweaks help you sort, re-sort, and navigate your music with one hand. Other under the hood adjustments make the overall experience better.

Other notable items:



Game Troopers released another new game called Elements: Epic Heroes for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile. First announced in October, Elements is a fantasy-based hack-and-slash game, complete with Xbox Live achievements.

Game Troopers also teamed up with myAppFree for the weekend to bring you many of their older titles for free. Crossy Road got a bunch of new characters in its latest update.

Age of Empires: Castle Siege got an update that now lets you request troops from your alliance. And although the new Age of Empires: World Domination was released this week for iOS and Android, there's no sign of the promised Windows Phone version. We'll just keep our fingers crossed for that one.

Age of Empires wasn't the only one dissing Windows Phone users this week. Valve laid out their new Steam Guard trading policies, which rely heavily on smartphones. Sadly, that makes things difficult for Windows Phone owners, who still don't have a Steam app.

Other notable items:

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