Windows Phone Weekly Digest: December 27, 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."

Windows Phone

Windows Phone

The Lumia 950 and 950 XL received their first firmware this holiday week. The MICROSOFTMDG update brings with it stability and performance boosts, improved SD memory support, and fixes for a couple of known camera and 4K video issues.

Microsoft's head of marketing, Chris Capossela, may have inadvertently confirmed the existence of the Lumia 650, which up until now, has only been rumored. When asked by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley when the phone would be released, Capossela replied that a formal date had not yet been announced.

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Windows Central has been reporting on the Lumia 650 quite a bit, and we've teamed up with @PhoneDesigner to create these exclusive renders of it. The designs are based on internal Microsoft slides and represent some of the key features of the Lumia 650.

AdDuplex's latest numbers indicate that Windows 10 Mobile is now installed on nearly 9 percent of all Windows Phones. Following the release of the Microsoft's Lumia 550, Lumia 950, and Lumia 950 XL, the first group of phones to come with the new OS pre-loaded, the percentage of Windows 10 smartphones rose from 5.7% in October to 8.8% in November.

Despite the encouraging numbers, Microsoft's Chris Capossela believes that Windows Phone needs a 'spiritual equivalent' to the Surface, which has redefined what a tablet can be.

Capossela, who appeared on the TWiT network's Windows Weekly said:

"We need some sort of spiritual equivalent on the phone side that doesn't just feel like it's a phone for people who love Windows," he said. "It's got to be a phone where it's like, 'Wow, that's a real shock or that's a real breakthrough, and (for an Apple customer) that's going to make me pause before I buy my 17th iPhone.' And we need time to actually go build that."

Other notable items:



After spending some time beta testing this month, the makers of Hike Messenger launched a new version for Windows Phone. The 3.5 update sports a new interface, along with the ability to share files and documents, group chat with up to 500 people at a time, and more.

Microsoft pushed out a quick-fix for the Equalizer app on the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. An update from last week had caused the Equalizer to constantly crash.

TED, the group known for their engaging talks and videos, has released an official app for Windows 10 PC and Mobile. TED fans can now search, watch, listen, and download content directly from the source.

File sharing service 4shared launched a new universal app for Windows 10 PC and Mobile as well. The app is still in beta, so expect some bugs.

Speaking of bugs, it looks like pretty big glitch has affected in-app purchases across all versions of the Windows Store. Many desktop and mobile developers, as well as users of their apps, have taken to Microsoft's support forums to report that previously-purchased items are disappearing and not reflecting that they have indeed been bought.

We'll be sure to keep you posted on this one.

Other notable items:



ZeptoLab, the crew behind mobile mega-hit Cut The Rope, released their latest game, King of Thieves on Windows 10 PC and Mobile. The game has you exploring worlds and looting other players' wealth to become the top dog. Compete online, join guilds, and run through player-generated content.

One of our favorite shooters, Sniper Fury, got an update for the holidays. The patch adds a new mission in Dubai, some brand new enemies to face, and a special limit-time arsenal of festive firearms.

Asphalt 8: Airborne was updated with new Area 51 tracks and the Lamborghini Egoista supercar.

The developers of Subway Surfers came out this week to explain that a bug was to blame for the game's mysterious absence from Windows 10 Mobile.

"Unfortunately we encountered a bug for Subway Surfers specifically on Windows 10. We chose to not make the game available with that bug as it is not a level of polish we are comfortable with. We are working as fast as we can to solve the issue. Sorry for the inconvenience."

While Subway Surfers has surely been missed by Windows 10 Mobile users, there is a fix on the way. So hang tight.

And Gameloft has released their mythological fighting game Gods of Rome for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile.

Other notable items:

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