We’ve seen plenty of fakes, but if we trust Tom Warren, who says he never posts fake stuff, we are looking at the first real pictures of what the Cortana avatar will look like on Windows Phone 8.1.
Form the Verge earlier we learned:
“The personality of Cortana is currently represented by a circle graphic that expresses what it’s doing (searching, identifying music à la the current Bing music listener built into Windows Phone, etc.) by various animations like spinning, flipping, etc. …more animations [have] come in over time, and the color is based on your theme color.”
Tom Warren posted today that the circle is fully animated, and we know already that Cortana can have a variety of emotions, and it will be interesting to see how this spinning circle represents them.
Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to be fully announced in April at the BUILD 2014 conference, making it around 30 days before everything will be officially revealed.
Thanks Cortana for the tip.
WP7Forum.ru reports that Lenovo’s first Windows Phone is coming around April this year, after the announcement of Windows Phone 8.1.
The handset, which will be a mid-range affair costing around $420, will of course be running the new OS, and WP7Forum.ru’s trusted sources tell them the handset was delayed until the OS was ready.
Other details about the device is that it may be called the Lenovo Aupres or Lenovo Snoopy, will run on the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 and 600 processor and will have a 4.5 to 5 inch screen.
According to their sources only one handset is planned.
Tom Warren, Senior Verge Editor, claims to have seen Windows Phone 8.1, and has been teasing a variety of features over the last few weeks.
Today he posted the above enigmatic tweet, suggesting it “ would be good if Windows Phone 8.1 included 3D touch gestures and notification interaction when phone’s off.“
We have ourselves of course received information that WP 8.1 will enable touch-less voice commands like “Ok Google” on the Motorola X, which does not require touching the handset to activate. The addition of gestures, possibly via multiple proximity sensors, would also be a natural if rather gimmicky extension of this.
Of course there is nothing about Tom’s tease which promises that these features will be on the way, but they are also not impossible.
Tom Warren himself, has previously posted on The Verge that the rumoured Nokia Goldfinger will feature “3D Touch”, which is believed to be a gesture-based system which would allow users to scroll the web browser or move to the next music track merely by moving their hand above the screen, much like Airplay.
Do our readers want these Samsung-like gimmicks on Windows Phone? Let us know below.
Gdgtarena have posted some pictures of what they claim to be the start screen background in Windows Phone 8.1.
The picture shows the image as part of the live tiles, as has been rumoured by Tom Warren recently.
Of course a similar effect can be achieved pretty easily with a simple photo editor or an app like Skinnery tiles, so I think we will need to see a video before we are convinced.
See many more pictures showing pretty much the same thing at gdgtarena here.
Thanks krob for the tip.
Turns our if you find the name Cortana a bit awkward you will be able to name your Digital Assistant Jane or Joe pretty easily.
According to Xone, who frequents WPWorld.pl, and who posted some more information about the service, not only will the assistant have a different name in different regions, but end users will also be able to rename it whatever they want.
Users will also be able to activate the assistant hands-free, much like Google’s “Hello Google” phrase on the Moto X, but users will be able to configure this key phrase to whatever they prefer.
In an unrelated titbit, Xone revealed that Action Center will support 5 toggles for services like WIFI and screen rotation on 5 inch + screens, and 4 on smaller screens.
See a list of the default male and female names per region after the break.
Tom Warren, Senior Editor at The Verge, has just tweeted the above two pictures, saying:
Would be good if Windows Phone 8.1 had this pic.twitter.com/UDBe4VVlbI
Yeah would definitely be interesting if Windows Phone 8.1 had backgrounds pic.twitter.com/CDU1oaRsil
Tom of course claims to have seen Windows Phone 8.1 before, and has earlier posted:
What do our readers think? Are Start Screen Backgrounds on the way, and would you like them? Let us know below.
According to Tom Waren, Senior Reporter from The Verge, who claims to have seen Windows Phone 8.1, a Swype-style keyboard is coming to the OS (although of course he did not say which version or when).
In the days of Windows Mobile the OS has multiple keyboard plugins, much like Android, but in the era of Windows Phone there has only been one (very good) choice (for western alphabets at least).
The Swype gesture-based keyboard is pretty popular on Android, and appears to be much in demand on Windows Phone, if the User Voice entry for the item is any indication, which has nearly 3000 votes.
If this does show up on Windows Phone 8.1 I suspect very few will be unsatisfied with the magnitude of the update.
I know our readers are pretty fatigued by Windows Phone 8.1 leaks, especially of the false kind, but according to WPbar.cn the above screen shot is certifiably real.
It shows the Separate Volume Controls our readers have been clamoring for for so long, and which has been confirmed by the Verge in December to be coming to the OS.
The screen shot shows a control for the volume of the ringer, then for apps and media, and the settings will let you control elements such as the sound made when you take a screen shot.
Ignoring for the moment whether the image is real or not, would our readers be happy with this arrangement? Let us know below.
Yesterday, we reported about the leaked short video clip of Cortana Speech assistant that will come in Windows Phone 8.1. Today, WPLeak has posted another video showing the glimpse of new Xbox Games app experience and Cortana Speech Assistant helping the user to find directions using new HERE Maps experience in Windows Phone 8.1.
While luminaries like Tom Warren have insisted demo is not real, it does make for a rather elaborate hoax.
What do our readers think? Let us know below.
We have seen some rather ridiculous rumours recently of 2K Windows Phones coming soon. Here is a much more believable rumour from China.
WPBar.cn received some information about a Mini Lumia 1520 called the Lumia 1520V.
The handset will retain much of the specs which makes the 1520 great. It will have a 4.3 amoled 1080p screen, 2G Ram+32G Rom (without SD Card support),3000mah battery,Pureview 14 megapixel and wireless charging support.
It is not known if the handset will retain the quadcore processor, but given the needs of the 1080P screen this seems likely.
The handset is said to launch after the release of Windows phone 8.1 in April, and may be an international version of the Nokia Lumia 929/Icon.
See the picture posted above for a glimpse of the handset posted in China’s twitter.
Would our readers prefer this much smaller handset over the Nokia Lumia 1520? Let us know below.
Twitter pundit and ex-Microsoft employee Nawzil has posted that Windows Phone 8.1 Milestone 3 starts with build 8.10.12247, and also posted a log from app analytics service Flurry showing that builds more advanced than this are being tested in the wild.
Of course M3 is still pretty early in development of the renewed OS, which is expected to have features such as a Notification centre and a voice assistant, and still pretty far from RTM, so we hope Microsoft gets its developers in gear and are able to deliver something in the first half of the year, rather than the second as has become traditional.
Thanks WinPhan for the tip.
We have had a recent rumour by largely unknown site The Information, that Sony was in negotiations to produce a Windows Phone in 2014.
Now well known rumour monger Digitimes has also jumped on the band wagon, claiming Sony was set to produce at minimum 1-2 models, with the aim of selling into the US and Japanese market.
Sony was however only dipping its toe into the Windows Phone market, with volumes not expected to exceed a few “tens of thousands of units each.” Nevertheless an additional 2-3 models were also under discussion, presumably pending the reception of the earlier handsets.
Compal will be the ODM they added.
Digitimes note that while they expect 50 million Windows Phones to be sold in 2014, for around 4% of the smartphone market, 90% of these will be sold by Nokia, leaving only 5 million to be shared by the likes of HTC, Sony Mobile, Samsung and Huawei.
Sony Ericson has a history of producing a number of Windows Mobile handsets in the past, and also prototyped but never released a Windows Phone 8 handset.
Do our readers think Sony’s return will be a significant development? Let us know below.
The Information reports that Microsoft is in talks with Sony to produce a new Windows Phone under the Viao brand.
The handset is apparently at prototype stage and aimed at mid-2014, “according to a person who was involved in the talks and a person briefed about the device.”
Apparently talks are at present centred on licensing fees, but with rumours that Microsoft is looking at giving away the OS for free we do not anticipate this being a continuing issue.
The last time Sony dipped its toe into the Windows Phone world it was with the Sony Xperia Windows Mobile range. The company never released a Windows Phone handset, though it had a prototype in the works which never saw the market.
Do our readers want to see some love from the Japanese conglomerate, or is another uncommitted OEM just another waste of time? Let us know below.
Source: The Information