Google first revealed Android One project at Google I/O few months back. As part of Android One project, Google has developed a reference hardware platform that’s made of affordable components that OEMs can use to build really cheap smartphones without compromising performance. One of the key advantages Windows Phone enjoys over Android in the low-end of the market is the stable performance of the device. If Google can overcome that shortcoming of Android with this Android One project, these devices will now directly compete with Windows Phone devices on their respective segments. Affordable mid-range and low-end devices like Moto E, Xiaomi Mi3 and others have proven to be successful in Indian market.
In this situation, Google has invited the press for an event in India on September. NDTV speculates that Google might be revealing the first devices that will go on sale based on the new Android One project.
Yesterday, The Information reported that Amazon.com, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics and Yahoo are among the list of companies that are looking to partner or acquire Cyanogen. Cyanogen develops enhanced open source firmware distribution for smartphones and tablet computers based on the Android open source OS. Most often, it offers features and options not found in the official firmware distributed by vendors of these devices. Recently, companies like Oppo started to support Cyanogen ROMs officially. It is already becoming a full-fledged alternative to Google Android.
It was reported that Cyanogen recently had a sit-down with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. There are many possibilities on Microsoft partnering or acquiring Cyanogen. But I think Microsoft may partner with Cyanogen to have their apps and services pre-installed on their ROMs. For example, Microsoft’s Android apps like OneDrive, OneNote, Skype, Office and other may come pre-installed with Cyanogen ROMs and Bing could become the default search service too. What’s you opinion on the on going discussions between these companies?
Source: The Information
One of the key differentiation feature available on Nokia Lumia devices was the HERE location apps. After Microsoft acquired Nokia Devices and Services division, HERE team operated independently under Nokia. Recently, they revealed their interest in releasing apps for many other platforms. Today, they made it official that HERE Location apps are coming to Samsung Galaxy Android devices for free, thanks to licensing deal with Samsung. Just like how HERE apps works on Windows Phone devices, Galaxy users can now enjoy free offline maps and turn-by-turn navigation in over 200 countries. Also, advanced features like live traffic, real-time transit schedule are also present in this app.
HERE for Samsung’s Galaxy phones can pair with the Samsung Gear S to sync routes with the smartwatch. Additionally, it works with Glympse and with Samsung’s Car Mode. As Lumia devices has lost one of its key exclusive apps, Microsoft should step up its game to differentiate Windows Phone platform with more compelling apps like HERE Location suite. What do you think?
Microsoft has just released an update for Xbox Video for Windows Phone 8.1.
This update (version 1.6.258.0 on Windows Phone 8 and 2.6.258.0 on Windows Phone 8.1) includes:
- Personal video list sorting now persists across app launches
- The full screen button no longer causes the app to show a white, blank screen for some videos
- Polish fixes and general improvements
You can download Xbox Video from the Windows Phone Store by clicking here.
Do you think the latest update makes the app a bit better? Let us know in the comment section bellow.
Microsoft has just added some very useful features to the Android version of the OneDrive app.
The app will now connect to both your personal and work OneDrive from the same app, and the app now also features a 4 digit PIN to keep your personal pictures a bit more secure.
Both features sound pretty desirable, and Windows Phone users will be happy to hear:
All Windows Phone devices had an uniform core platform user experience, one of the main reasons behind it was the home/back/search button requirements for Windows Phone OEMs from Microsoft. With Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft enabled OEMs to have software keys instead of capacitive hardware keys which will allow them to save costs. In the recently released Xolo Q900s Windows Phone device, the functionality of hardware keys got changed.
Usually, pressing the right hardware key will open search experience while the left key is used for back and multi-tasking. But in this device, you have the opposite where you will long press right key for multitasking and press left key for search. We are not sure whether this is a bug from Xolo or they intentionally designed this way. Either way, Microsoft should fix this issue because it offers bad experience to old Windows Phone users who got used to the old arrangement and functionality of hardware keys.
Find how it works on Xolo Win Q900s after the break.
Microsoft today revealed that new mobile game Age of Empires: Castle Siege is coming to Windows Phone and Windows devices coming next month. This will be a free game with in-app purchases to accelerate the game play. As any other Age of Empires games, you build a castle city, defend against marauders and, when your army is ready, lay siege to opponents.
“Be the first to demo the new touch-based, free-to-play game, Age of Empires: Castle Siege, grab medieval weapons and get your picture taken in the OneDrive booth, or compete in other Age of Empires games on our daily Twitch stream at the Age of Empires booth! All will earn you your own limited edition Castle Siege Pinny Arcade pin and your Castle Siege bandana (while supplies last). Join The Siege!”
They will be showing off Age of Empires: Castle Siege gameplay with the devs live on at 1 PM Pacific/GMT-7.
Know more about it here.
Speaking to CNET, HTC USA chief Jason Mackenzie revealed that it was Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s handset division which led to the large delay between the HTC 8X and the HTC One for Windows.
"We were waiting to see how the relationship would take shape," he said. "Then there was the acquisition and a regime change at Microsoft. We weren’t sure what their strategy was going to be."
What clinched the deal was Microsoft laying off nearly than half of the employees they acquired from Nokia.
Joe Belfiore has been roped into the ALS ice bucket challenge by Satoshi Nakajima, and performed excellently, as can be seen in the video above. He in turn challenged Stephen Elop, Marcus Ash, Chee Chew, which I think will make “fans” of both Joe and Stephen pretty happy either way.
Microsoft today updated the OneDrive for Windows Phone app to v188.8.131.52. This app update includes one minor feature, the ability to access OneDrive Recycle Bin from your Windows Phone. This update also includes number of bug fixes and stability improvements. With this app, you can
• Browse all your OneDrive files and files shared with you
• Upload multiple photos, videos and files at once
• Share files by inviting people, getting a link to copy and paste, or posting to your social networks
• Move, delete, and rename files, and create new folders
• Quickly get to documents you’ve recently opened
• Pin folders to your Start screen
• Share files to OneDrive from other apps
• Sort files and folders
• Open files from OneDrive in other apps
• Download files to your phone and pick where to save them
Download it here from Windows Phone Store for free.
PCWorld reports that a whole bevy of Windows Phones from OEMs other than Microsoft Mobile are on the way.
Greg Sullivan, the director of Windows Phone at Microsoft, said:
“It’s been interesting to see that of these 17 devices that have been announced or are available, most of them are for emerging markets or are lower-cost devices. But we’ve always known that there is this spectrum of devices that this would range from all the way from affordable devices up to the marquee and high-end devices like the HTC One. While this is the first flagship, we’re open for business.”
HTC worldwide communications manager Jeff Gordon revealed HTC had always planned to release the HTC One in both an Android and Windows Phone version.
The Verge has revealed the date Microsoft is showing off the next version of Windows, Windows 9 code-named Threshold.
The software will be demoed at a special press event Microsoft is expected to offer an overview of key new features of the upcoming operating system, with a technical preview ready for developers and enthusiasts.
The Verge also claimed Microsoft may demonstrating Threshold for ARM devices, which will be a combination of Windows Phone and Windows RT.
In June Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley said Threshold may bring side by side apps to Windows Phone, writing:
One of the key innovation that Microsoft developed with the launch of Windows Phone 7 was the camera key that can be used even when the mobile device is locked.
Mobile devices with cameras often have a locked mode to prevent accidental or unauthorized access to the device. However, in many situations it is desirable to capture a photograph or video without needing to unlock a mobile device (e.g., by using a key combination, entering a personal identification number (PIN), or using fingerprint recognition) in order to quickly and spontaneously “capture the moment.”
Today, all leading mobile operating systems like iOS and Android have emulated this same functionality in one way or the other. Recently, we came across that Microsoft has now applied for a patent for this process.
If Microsoft gets this patent approved, they will add this patent to the list of 300 or more patents that Android devices already violates. Read the abstract after the break.