At the Cornbury music festival in the UK, Microsoft promoted the Lumia 930 device among the visitors. To showcase the capabilities of the Nokia Lumia 930, Microsoft created the ultimate ‘One Experience’ for people, allowing them to star in their very own immersive film. People were allowed to dress up in costumes and they interacted with fantasy animations in front of a green screen setup. A Nokia Lumia 930 captured all these and editors in the background used the recorded content to prepare a movie. Later, the footage was showcased to thousands of festival goers.
Costas Syrmos, Head of Microsoft Brand Lab said,
“The Nokia Lumia 930 is an exceptional device running Windows 8.1 with superior sound, video and imaging capabilities. By creating the “One Experience”, we demonstrated the unique qualities of the Nokia Lumia 930 and OneDrive as a perfect way for people to capture, share and relive amazing moments”.
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.
Microsoft today released a new commercial to promote Lumia 635 devices running Windows Phone 8.1. All Lumia 635 devices in the US is powered by Cortana, new digital personal assistant. In this ad, Microsoft compared Cortana’s features like setting reminders when you call next time, traffic levels, etc, with Apple Siri.
Say hello to Cortana, your new personal assistant. Cortana will remind you to leave early to beat traffic and help you get to your destination on time, will remind you that you need milk when passing the grocery store, and will remind you to say happy birthday when your mom calls. Available now on the new Nokia Lumia 635 and on other Lumia phones.
Grab Lumia 635 at Microsoft here.
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.
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 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.
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.
As promised, the new Windows Phone 8.1 Live Lock Screen is now available.
Want to truly personalize your lock screen? Live lock screen lets you choose from 6 new lock screen layouts to add a distinctive touch to your Windows Phone. Each layout has a revamped design for the time, date, and notifications, as well as a unique unlock animation. You can also cycle through multiple background images throughout the day to keep your lock screen fresh—or just get the latest incredible image from Bing every morning.
Download the app from the Windows Phone Store here.
Thanks Pushkar for the tip.
Microsoft today posted a video to promote Lumia 530 Windows Phone 8.1 device. In the video, Microsoft directly compared Lumia 530 with several other competing sub-€100 smartphones in the market.
Microsoft compared the Qualcomm Snapdragon Quadcore chip, internal memory, RAM, built-in Office, MixRadio, ability to run latest OS, etc, to claim that Lumia 530 is the best of its class. What do you think of this ad?
Watch the comparison video after the break.
Microsoft today updated two of their system apps for Lumia Windows Phone devices. The Display was updated to v184.108.40.206 with the old change log of improved usability and brightness profile for all Lumia devices in the Store. Network+ app was updated to v220.127.116.11 with the same old change log of support for dual SIM and smart dual SIM feature in the Store.
The latest version of the Network app can be downloaded here and Display app here from Windows Phone Store.
We posted yesterday that Microsoft was releasing only a limited number of the promised £130 worth of wireless kit that was meant to accompany purchases of the Nokia Lumia 930.
Now it appears that this was not in fact a bait and switch attempt by Microsoft, but in fact a glitch.
If you attempt to access the site now and claim your kit, you will hopefully be met by this message instead:
We suggest readers still hurry up and claim their prize, which can be done at Nokia here.
I know many of you are eagerly waiting for Microsoft to release the lockscreen app for Windows Phone 8.1 devices. Last week, Joe Belfiore tweeted that the app might be released this week. Today, he provided the update on the progress.
Hopefully, the app will pass through Windows Phone certification in its first attempt. If not, we have to wait longer for its release.
Microsoft Store is now taking pre-orders for Nokia Lumia 635 on AT&T and already started selling T-Mobile version. The device will cost $99 on AT&T without contract and $129 on T-Mobile without any contract.
If you visit any of the Microsoft Retail stores in the US, you can now take advantage of the following offers for T-Mobile Lumia 635,
- Buy a Nokia Lumia 635 and get a Case* and Portable Charger for $50
- Buy a Nokia Lumia 635 and get a Case* and Microsoft Complete for $50
Find the Microsoft Store listings below,
No Contract Nokia Lumia 635 for AT&T – $99
No Contract Nokia Lumia 635 for T-Mobile – $129
Find details about the deal after the break.