AT&T is introducing new, cheaper data plans for their smartphone users, but rather sneakily are not moving users to the new plans automatically, meaning if you do not pay attention you could lose out.
If you have a 2GB data plan with Microsoft’s Premier Windows Phone Partner, you can switch to the Mobile Share Value Plan, which costs $40 per month, $15 cheaper than previously.
All Mobile Share Value plans have unlimited talk and text, as well as free texts from the United States to international numbers.
You can also switch over to the lower $25-per-month smartphone device fee, saving up to total of $30 per handset, though the $25 will increase back up to $40 when you upgrade next.
The old $45 per month 1GB plan is being cancelled, but again AT&T is happy to let you continue to pay for it, paying more for less, so it is imperative that if you are on that plan, you call AT&T to switch you over to the now cheaper 2 GB plan.
The new data plans come into effect tomorrow. To check for catches, read more at AT&T here.
via The Verge.com
Unleashthephones have posted another instalment of their Windows Phone 8.1 reveal, this time of WIFI Sense.
WIFI Sense will let you join WIFI hotspots without having to manually accept the terms & conditions or enter your personal details like Name, Phone Number or Mail id.
Another major addition is the ability to share your WiFi Networks with your Outlook, Skype & Facebook friends allowing them access to the internet connection without having to share the password with them.
Read more at Unleashthephones here.
Blackberry is rapidly retreating from the world stage, with the OS estimated to have only 0.6% worldwide market share in Q4 2013 by the IDC.
There are some countries where the OS still reigned supreme until recently however such as Indonesia, where 17% of worldwide Blackberries was said to be in use early last year; the company’s biggest market.
Times they are a changing however, and with the rise of Android we have also seen Windows phone moving into the same arena, displacing the Canadian fruit phone.
Our readers may remember Bryan Biniak, Nokia’s Vice President and General Manager of Developer Experience, from July last year, when he accused Microsoft of a lack of urgency, and complained:
"We are releasing new devices frequently and for every new device, if there is an app that somebody cares about that’s not there that’s a missed opportunity of a sale."
In line with Nokia’s new marketing, what a difference 6 months makes it seems. Speaking to Trusted Reviews recently, he now said:
“I don’t think (lack of high profile apps) is getting in our way of selling phones right now. f you look at the gaps – and we just announced Adobe, we announced BBM – there is only a few of those top developers that are missing.”
Nokia launched a new campaign yesterday where they specifically address the app gap, and make the claim that all of the apps people actually use are either on the platform, or have viable alternatives available.
This does however ring somewhat hollow given the recent release of the Nokia X range, which is felt by many to be an attempt to tap into the app catalogue of the Google Play store.
Do our readers think Biniak is right, and apps are no longer a sales issue, or is it all marketing? Let us know below.
Telecompaper reports that SingTel will be the first Singaporean carrier to offer direct carrier billing for Windows Phone handsets.
The carrier billing can be used to pay for music, apps and in-app purchases and allows users to use the store without having a credit or debit card.
Microsoft now supports carrier billing in more than 53 countries, triple the 2012 number. Carrier billing is very effective at boosting sales, with revenue per user increasing 3 times in developed markets and 6 times in emerging markets.
Online retailer Amazon is working on a Windows Phone app for their service in India.
The news come via their customer service department, who say “we have a dedicated team working towards it” and that it will be “launched at the earliest” convenience.
Amazon competitor Flipkart of course already has a pretty good app for Windows phone in the store, making it rather good news that these retail giants are also looking at catering to what is still a small platform in India.
Thanks Arvind for the tip and screen shot.
China is proving to be an unexpectedly high hurdle to cross as Microsoft strives to purchase Nokia’s handset division.
In the run up to approving the deal, China’s Ministry of Commerce held a seminar on the 3rd March to hear the Nokia-Microsoft case.
At the event many smaller Chinese OEMs petitioned the Ministry of Justice to prevent Microsoft and Nokia from charging significant fees for the use of their patents.
While there has not been any big changes in the regular WhatsApp app for Windows Phone, the beta app has been anything but static.
The latest in what appears to be a weekly update cycle, version ver2.11.392, are new buttons which appear at the beginning and end of a conversation which makes it easy to scroll to the top or bottom of a long list.
Another useful feature is the ability to clear broadcast list history.
Hopefully all the many beta improvements will finally come to the mainstream app sooner rather than later.
NewEgg is offering the T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 925 for an astounding $249.99 contract-free.
The deal is available via their NewEggFlash pages and will only be available for another 12 hours.
The Nokia Lumia 925 is the much sleeker brother of the Nokia Lumia 920, with much of the advantages of that handset, including a great 8.7 megapixel camera and 4.5 inch HD screen, but without the weight and bulk.
To take advantage of this great deal, see the page here.
The days the App Gap is the biggest excuse we hear for not switching to Windows Phone, and today Nokia has posted a video indicating they will not be taking the criticism any more.
Nokia Canada posted the above 2 minute video making it very clear Windows Phone has all the apps that are used commonly and matter, and who needs 1000 flashlight apps in any case.
I believe that the fact is now being increasingly acknowledged, which is why we are now hearing a new term, the App Lag, which refers to the months or years Windows Phone users have to wait before an app inevitably end up on our platform. In the end what we are seeing however is the OS rapidly catching up, and the trend to parity is looking pretty clear.
What do our readers think? Let us know below.
Digitimes reports that Google is pressuring Asus to drop plans to release an Android tablet that runs both Android and Windows.
The search giant is supposedly unhappy that such tablets would disproportionately benefit Microsoft and Intel while cutting into Android market share.
While Digitimes does not mention them, we expect Google will be equally unhappy with dual-boot smartphones. We have recently heard that Karbonn is planning to release such a handset in around 3 months.
While Microsoft is trying to increase the penetrance of Windows phone by making it more available to consumers and OEMs it is not universally agreed that the dual-boot strategy is beneficial to Windows developers, due to the increased likelihood that users will use popular Android apps rather than exploring the growing Windows/ Windows Phone Store.
If true, do our readers think this may be a blessing in disguise? Let us know below.
According to the latest data from Comscore, Windows Phones are now used by more subscribers than Blackberry handsets in USA.
3.2% of 159.8 million US smartphone owners use Windows Phones, or 5.11 million people, vs 4.95 million Blackberry owners.
This is up around 330,000 people from 3 months ago, indicating the effect of the Christmas season on sales, likely due to great Nokia Lumia 520/521 sales.
Blackberry is down another 0.5%, after losing 0.7% 3 months earlier, which is unsurprising when the operating system only holds 0.5% of the US smartphone sales. A recent promotion by T-Mobile saw 94% of Blackberry users taking part upgrading to handsets running other operating systems, despite a $50 incentive to stay Blackberry by T-Mobile.
Of course 3.2% is still well in the range of irrelevance, so we hope for actual growth in the market, which I think we will only see if Microsoft release a low-cost handset on Verizon.
See the full report at Comscore here.
The leaked Windows Phone emulator has been the gift that keeps on giving, and the latest revelation is that Microsoft already working on Windows Phone 8.5, and that this may bring radical changes to the UI of the phones.
According to the tooltip message from the emulator to the developer of TimeMe secondary live tiles may no longer be available in Windows Phone 8.5.
That UI innovation has of course been very helpful and is one of the unique elements of Windows Phone. Of course the message may be referring to the specific API rather than the feature, but either way it seems the Windows Phone Start screen is set to change.
The emulator also revealed additional and more immediately impactful new information.