Category Archives: news

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.

Leak reveals new WP8.1 GDR1 features, including NTP support

WP8.1-GDR1

We ran a poll a few weeks ago asking if the clocks on the Windows Phones of our readers were accurate, and more than 30% agreed that theirs were running slow.

It seems Microsoft was listening, as they are already working on a solution, according to a leak via NokiaPowerUser.com.

According to their information WP8.1 GDR1, the next minor version of the OS, will support Network Time Protocol, when Network Identity and Time Zone, the carrier’s time system, is not working.

Their leak also reveals support for WXXGA (800×1280) resolution by the use of black bars, the ability to activate Cortana from the phone kit in the car by giving it a phone book entry ( a much needed capability) and also Dual-SIM capability with both GSM + CDMA networks.

We have also of course heard earlier GDR1 will feature new folders and Voice over LTE support.

It appears GDR1 is shaping up to be a rather solid upgrade.  It is already being discussed with OEMs, and is expected to hit the market in the August time frame.

Latest WhatsApp beta also has improved user profiles

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We have heard recently that the latest beta of WhatsApp, version 2.11.520, will now let you caption pictures, specify your location when sharing, archive group sessions and see the size of the group.

Another new feature which just popped up is an improved user profile.  The app will now let you make phone calls and send SMS messages from the profile, and also see what groups you have in common.

The beta should eventually wind its way to Windows phone, hopefully faster than the last update.

Via Emanuele from NokiaTeca.

Microsoft already discussing WP8.1 GDR 1 with OEMS

References have appeared on Microsoft’s OEM site for the next minor update to Windows Phone 8.1, GDR 1. Regular readers will recall that it was the same site which leaked a detailed explanation of how folders will work in the next version of Windows Phone, but in this case Microsoft had locked things down pretty thoroughly. GDR1 is rumoured for an August release, and it seems clear that work on it is pretty advanced. Hopefully the documentation is the very last step, and we will soon see the update live on our handsets also.

Microsoft applies for a patent for a wireless MOGA-type controller

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Microsoft has applied for a patent for an external clip-on controller very reminiscent of MOGA’s Bluetooth game controllers.

In their abstract they claim:

A set of reconfigurable clip-on modules for mobile computing devices includes two or more modules and at least one of the modules has an input button or other control and at least one of the modules can communicate with the computing device without needing to be connected to it via a wire. The input button is mapped to a user input in a program, such as a game, which is running or displayed on the computing device to which
the modules are clipped. In an embodiment, user inputs via the buttons or other controls on the clip-on modules are mapped to user inputs in a game running on the device, which may be a touch-screen device, and the mapping between user inputs via the buttons and
user inputs in the game may change dependent upon the game being played, user preference, or other criteria.

The patent does not appear to make any novel claim, making the application somewhat odd, but hopefully it suggests a direction Microsoft is thinking of expanding Windows Phone to.

See the full patent here.

Tip: Solution for 7 second resume screen after new lock screen app

I personally love the new lock screen app coded by Rudy Huyn but for others the app has been too slow to make it worthwhile.

To add insult to injury , for some users the lagging remains even after uninstalling, with people being faced with many seconds of a Resuming… screen after unlocking their phone.

The solution is fortunately simple.  Simply go to Settings > Lock Screen and change background to another item like Bing and then change it back to Photo.  The hesitation should disappear.

Via Reddit.com

 

Poll: The new WP8.1 Lock screen app–Yea or Nay?

By now I suspect most of us have tried the new animated lock screen beta for Windows Phone 8.1.

The app itself is very smooth, but many readers have complained that it appears to extend unlock times, and that even afterwards there is a delay before you can interact with your phone. Other issues have been that the app displays a low resolution screen shot when unloading, sometimes crashes and disables Kids Corner.

Rudy Huyn, a developer involved in the app, has said on twitter:

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I myself have been pretty happy with the app.  My 930 has an unlock lag in any case, and it feels slightly faster with the new lock screen, and I appreciate having a new UI novelty without having to wait for the next major Windows Phone update.

What do our readers think of the new lock screen? Let us know in the poll below.


Windows Phone gets Facetime in Hot Tub Time Machine 2

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Microsoft spends a lot of money on product placement, and one would think they would also check the editing afterwards to make sure their products are presented well.

I guess in the case of the Hot Tub Time Machine 2 that intern was a bit distracted, as the above scene, showing a Windows Phone receiving a Facetime call, seems to have slipped through editing.

To see the scene in all its glory, check 39 seconds into the trailer embedded after the break.
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Microsoft working on a new photo and video experience for Windows Phone

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The current WP8.1 photo viewing application does not have many fans, having taken away much of the style of the WP8 app.

Now, according to a job posting, Microsoft is looking to switch things around again, with a new way to “view your photo and video collection in dramatically rich and immersive ways.”

The experience would work not just on phones, but also tablets and desktops, and include features such as image analysis, effects and cloud synchronization.

The effort is presumably to keep up with Google, whose various auto-awesome photo viewing features has been wowing many for a while now.

See the full job post after the break.

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Official Glasgow Commonwealth Games app for Windows Phone now available

The official Glasgow Commonwealth Games app for Windows Phone now available to download in the Windows Phone Store.

Follow the medal race in real time and watch 4,500 athletes competing in 17 sports with the official Glasgow 2014 Results App.

imageThe app features full schedule information over the 11 day event and for medal standings you can select your favourite nations and territories, athletes, and sports and track their progress no matter where you are.

Download the app for free from the windows phone store here.

You-Doo was just updated to v1.5

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Download You-Doo! Download You-Doo!
Parlez-vous Français? Sprechen Sie Deutsch? With the arrival of version 1.5 The team at Plutanium.com have added two new language packs to You-Doo! Both German and French are now available. That brings the total number of supported languages to 5.In consideration of our European friends we have also added the metric system of measure as well as European date/time formatting.
Here is a full list of changes for version 1.5:
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Update – v1.5.5308.29027<Features Added>

  • Added new language – German.
  • Added new language – French.
  • Added option to switch to metric measurements in the app settings.
  • Changed date and time to conform to selected language formatting.

<Bugs Squashed>

  • Fixed a bug when adding a gps group from within the task creation screen, it would not update to the newly made gps group in the dropdown list until you reselected it.
  • Other minor fixes/changes.
You-Doo is a FREE proximity-based to do list, task scheduler and reminder application. It is simple to use but has powerful features such as a live timeline, user defined gps locations, calendar view, task history and much more.

Set up gps locations where you perform your most frequent tasks. Make one for your home, work, shopping centers, entertainment facilities, etc. You can then define individual tasks that will fire toast message reminders when passing through the defined areas that contain Active Tasks assigned to them.

Organize your day by setting time-sensitive tasks, calendar items and reminders. You-Doo is a full featured task manager and calendar app. Pin your live tiles and add You-Doo to your lock screen and never forget an item or miss an appointment again!

Features

  • Proximity triggered alerts for tasks
  • Live Timeline View
  • Live tiles for individual tasks and live timeline
  • Configurable gps location groups for categorizing tasks
  • Location information with mapping integration to Bing Maps and Foursquare
  • Reminders and Notifications
  • Multi Language Options
  • Calendar view with daily detail
Download You-Doo Today!

Download You-Doo Today!

Download You-Doo!