All posts by Surur

Site Admin and Windows Phone enthusiast, he has been using Windows Mobile devices since before they were called PocketPC’s. He is currently sporting a Nokia Lumia 920.

Windows Phone mainly loses users to Android

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A survey of phone retailer mobiles.co.uk of 2,300 smartphone buyers reveal Windows Phone users were generally loyal to the OS, with 58% upgrading to a Windows Phone for their next phone.

This number is lower however that iOS and Android, with 81% of iOS and 81% of Android users buying a handset of the same OS the next time.

Windows Phone users mainly defected to Android, with 25% of old Windows Phone users moving to that OS for their next handset.  Only 7% went to iOS, showing which OS is Microsoft’s real competition.

Besides old Windows Phone users, Windows Phone mainly drew new users from Symbian users, with 21% choosing to upgrade to Windows Phones.

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Microsoft introduces Cortana in own mini-site

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Cortana is rapidly becoming the star of not just Windows Phone, but the whole of Microsoft, with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella name dropping the digital assistant several times when talking about innovation at Microsoft.

Given the status of the service, it is quite fitting then that Microsoft has devoted a whole micro-site to introducing the service to new users.

The site offers an irreverent look at Cortana, explaining the name, strengths and weakness and personal stats.

Have a look and a laugh at WindowsPhone.com here.

Via Neowin.net

Nokia Lumia 530 launching in Vietnam on the 1st August

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Vietnamese Windows Phone site Techrum.vn reports that Microsoft is sending out invitations to a press event in Ho Chi Minh City on the 1st August for what is expected to be the launch of the Nokia Lumia 530 in the region.

The “Rock the Color” event is designed to appeal to the young and young at heart who is also the target market for the handset.

The handset features:

  • 4-inch, 854×480 resolution LCD display (246ppi)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 200, 1.2GHz quad-core processor
  • 5MP camera
  • 4GB storage
  • Expandable memory up to 128GB
  • 512MB RAM
  • 15GB free cloud storage
  • 1420mAh battery

The smartphone costs less that 100 Euro at launch as has already been picked up by T-Mobile in USA.

Like the new Live WP8.1 Lock Screen? Get some great wallpaper to go with it.

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The new animated lock screen app just released for Windows Phone 8.1 is a love it or leave it issue at present, but more than 60% of our readers seemed to enjoy having it on their device.

If you are one of the majority, you may also like to spice it up with some specially crafted wallpaper just for the app.

NokiaWPBlog has created some images which they say go perfectly with the app.  Wallpaper can be added from directly inside the Live Lock screen app.

Read more and find the download at NokiaWPBlog here.

Look what just arrived in the mail!

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I was woken unexpectedly this morning by an early delivery.  Not expecting a package, on opening the box I first thought I had accidentally been sent another Nokia Lumia 930.

After a second however I realized it was my Wireless Connectivity Pack, delivered only a week after I was able to confirm the order, and much less than the 28 days I expected.

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Uber offering Windows Phone users two free rides

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To celebrate the arrival of the Uber app on Windows Phone Uber is offering Lumia owners in India two free rides worth Rs. 500 each

The offer is available on sign-up for the service via the Uber Windows Phone app.

Uber said their new app offers “the complete experience” and said:

“We are excited to release a new Uber app for the Windows Phone, available for download now in the Windows Phone Store! Users will be able to open the Uber app on their Windows Phone anywhere in the world – whether in the United States, India or France – and seamlessly request a safe, reliable ride at the touch of a button.”

“The availability of the Uber app – in more than 150 cities and in 41 countries – and the international adoption of the Windows Phone mean that we can connect with the Windows Phone community like never before,” added the blog post.Uber Windows Phone app QR

In June Uber launched a new low-cost ridesharing service called UberX in three cities – Bangalore, Hyderabad and New Delhi.

The Uber app can be found in the Windows Phone Store here . Also, get Rs.300 off on your first two rides by signing up here.

Via NDTV.com

WP8.1 GDR1 will finally bring high quality Bluetooth Audio to Windows Phone

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A2DP is an increasingly popular way to play back music, mainly due to the rise of Bluetooth speakers.  With the wide diversity of smartphones it is the one standard which works for all operating systems.

Unfortunately A2DP transfers audio in a compressed format which reduces sound quality.

The answer is aptX, a higher quality codec often used in professional products and increasingly for Bluetooth Audio also, allowing steaming of high quality music.

The leaks of today confirmed that Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 will support aptX, and will also support AVRCP 1.4, which allows speakers (and Bluetooth stereos) greater control over the music streamed from a smartphone.

Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) 1.4, lets users browse media on your phone remotely, supports meta-data including the Now Playing list and supports basic search features.

The improvements should mean Windows Phone users get to enjoy the A2DP capabilities of the handsets even more, and have more access to the full range of the capabilities of their existing A2DP accessories.

Picture via Noknok.tv

HTC working on a Windows Phone version of the HTC One M8

It not new news, but Tom Warren has once again confirmed that HTC is working on a Windows Phone version of the HTC One M8.image

The HTC One M8 features:image

5.0 inches, Full HD LCD3 Display,1080x1920p Resolution. 2GB RAM, 2.3GHz Quad-core, Snapdragon 801 Processor, 128GB microSD Support, 160 g, 2600 mAh Battery, All-metal Unibody, Duo Ultrapixel Camera, Built-in Amplifier Speakers, IR Blaster.

The Windows Phone version will hopefully retain much of those features and with the new support for active phone cases the Windows Phone version could also support HTC’s Dotview Case.

See a video below for a demonstration of that case in action.

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Full details on Phone Cover Apps in Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1

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It was revealed earlier that Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 will support Phone Cover Apps, similar to HTC’s Dot View and LG Quick Circle.

Now full details of the implementation is available.

Similar to Android, devices will be able to detect when a cover is used.  When a cover is closed the OEM’s Phone Cover App is launched, which will then display the app above the lock screen.

When the cover is opened the app will close and the phone will either unlock or present the password screen. The last item is a user setting, and users can specify that they want the normal lock screen to be displayed on opening the cover also.

See the detailed information after the break.

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Microsoft shares Windows Phone Bing search revenue with some OEM partners

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While Microsoft has made Windows Phone free for OEMs, we still wondered what incentive smaller OEMs have to release handsets running what is in most case a very small market share OS.

Microsoft’s OEM Dev site has however continued to deliver the goods, and has revealed that Microsoft shares Bing Search revenue with some OEM partners.

The deal is similar to what Google has in place with some OEMs and carriers, though we suspect the scale is a lot smaller.

Hopefully however over the life time of the handset such revenue sharing deals (which likely also include the Windows Phone Store) will help make up for the razor-thin margins we are seeing from the new Asian OEMs already releasing new Windows Phone 8.1 devices.

Chassis Requirements for WP8.1 GDR1 revealed

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Microsoft’s OEM dev site continues to be a rich vein of information to mine regarding the next minor version of Windows Phone 8.1, GDR1.

The latest to arrive is the Chassis Requirements for handsets running the OS. Most of the features remain unchanged from earlier versions of the OS, but there are a few surprises.

One of them is that Windows Phone now supports qHD resolution (960 x 540) scaled from 720P. The OS still does not support the newer super high resolutions however, being limited to Full HD (1080p)

Also interesting is that a proximity sensor is now a hard requirement, surprising given that the Nokia Lumia 630 and 530 does not feature one.

Also unfortunate is that there does not appear to be any support yet for the newer Snapdragon 810 processors.

Microsoft has dropped performance requirements for MicroSD cards in WP8.1, and can compress the OS partition to enable more free space in 4 GB handsets.

See the full list of specs after the break.

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More new WP8.1 GDR1 features revealed, including Phone Cover Apps

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NokiaPowerUser has leaked some more new WP8.1 GDR1 features.

Most of them are rather mundane, meant for OEMs rather than user features, but there is one rather interesting feature.

In WP8.1 GDR1 OEMs can create and register a phone cover app, which allows partners to create a user experience with their Windows Phones phone cover like on other platforms. This is likely in response to OEMs like LG and HTC who has been using phone cover apps as differentiating features on their handsets.

Other new items is that the Store tile, when medium-sized, is now a live tile. It shows both the Store logo and the name

Manufacturers can change start tile layout in some cases

Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 supports entity extraction in the Messaging app (which is also shared with the Email), meaning OEMs can specify what type of number they think is a phone number.

By default, when a user calls the voicemail number, the number dialed is displayed below the Voicemail. It can be disable in GDR1.

For phones that support an SD card, OEMs can either allow or block the use of the SD card for phone updates

OEMs can show or hide the “auto scan for updates” setting on the phone.

Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 user-captured MP4 video contains metadata for date taken and location.

Windows Phone will now also support PAN1.0 profile which in theory would allow tethering via Bluetooth, aptX codec support for A2DP, which enables high quality audio, and AVRCP now supports browsing support.

The details all come from Microsoft’s Dev centre, before they locked it down, and are therefore 100% reliable, and should hit our handsets in a few months.