It seems overnight Microsoft has been doing a Santa Claus bit and dropping presents in the inbox of Windows phone users, in the form of a free extra 20 GB of storage.
While the “Enthusiast bonus” more than trebles the 7 GB recent Windows phone users receive when signing up, and close to doubles the 25 GB grandfathered SkyDrive users have the gift is a bit of a Trojan horse – the 20 GB extra will expire in a year, meaning you will then be asked to pay for your extra storage or need to empty out your cloud closet in 12 months time.
Microsoft at present does not sell a 20 GB bundle, but their 50 GB bundle is around $25 per year.
Have any of our readers NOT received the offer? Let us know below.
Thanks Ethan and Akul for the tip.
Microsoft’s marking the Windows Phone User Voice request for a File Manager app as complete has sparked of much rumour and speculation about how this well be delivered.
Reliable leaker Nawzil claims to have the inside scoop, and appears to have been talking about a File Manager for Windows phone for a while now.
In his tweets today he revealed the app will be coming as part of Windows Phone 8.1, the next version of the OS. However a week ago he also tweeted about the feature, and then suggested it would be delivered via an updated SkyDrive app, which would presumably have the ability to manage files both in the cloud and also on your phone.
The solution would be quite elegant, and maintain the ethos of an OS that dedicated to the future rather than living in the past.
What do our readers think of such a solution? Let us know below.
After losing a trademark case to BSkyB Microsoft has been required within “a reasonable time period” to rename the service.
Now a series of new names have popped up, resolving to SkyDrive.com.
The three options that have turned up so far include FetchDrive, NewDrive and BingDrive, with all three addresses recently resolving to SkyDrive.com.
NewDrive is likely a placeholder, much like NewCo is used until a name is settled on.
Which name do our readers prefer. Let us know below.
Revolution! The best way to define the great work done to exhibit you the latest version of our Money Manager Pro app… A lot of things hab been changed to dramatically improve our app on both design and features sides….so…let’s show you what we’ve done:
|NEW HOME PAGE The new home page has beed revisited in order to offer you all the old and new features together with a lot of ‘at-a-glance’ information, avoiding navigating among pages to recover the main info you’re looking for. You now have 4 sections:
|BUDGET We’ve added the possibility of adding a monthly budget. At the app start-up, within the flows summary in the dashboard, the total amount of expenses is given by relating it to the defined budget. Also a visual indicator is present which shows the remaining available value.|
|CURRENCIES CONVERSION RATE
|TOTALS Each report page now can show you a panel containing the total amounts of the report flows. 3 different the total amounts are present, grouped by currencies: the one related to the charged flows, the one related to the pending flows (will be charged the next month) and the one related to the previous month that are charged during the current month.|
|FILTERS In each report we’ve improved the way of filtering flows by currency and by type (expenses/incomes/all).|
|NEW CHARTS We’ve improved the charts on both aesthetic side and given info side. They now show a pleasant animation when presented. The chart filters has also been improved, as already said for the reports.|
|PDF REPORTS In order to give our users coherent information, we changed the first page of the PDF reports. They now contains the same info shown by the totals panel.|
|QUICK SEARCH It is located in the Reports section. Search for all flows containing the user inserted text within the activity, category, item or note properties of each flow. During the text insertion the app suggests you words starting with entered text.|
|Other improvements Minor bug fixes and a better management of the pre-paid card recharge as requested by some users. Now the user can select if charge the flow on the card related account or not.|
We really hope those improvements will satisfy our current users and the ones who, in the future, would give a chance to our app… We would also thank all users who help us in making a better app by warning us about issues or by asking us for new features.
Money Manager Pro can be found in Windows Phone Store for $ 1.49 with a FREE TRIAL
|Here the link to download the app from the Windows Phone Store web page|
|Here the qrcode to jump to the app page with your phone|
In the above video we get a preview of the new Optical Recognition Feature of SkyDrive, which will automatically extract text from photos taken with your Windows Phone.
The feature will be particularly useful in making photos more searchable, which should be particularly useful for students taking photos of white boards and other text.
The feature will become available in Windows 8.1.
Instant Incognito Recorder – The free app to record what’s happening around you: instantly and stealthily
An unprecedented entry in the Windows Phone Store, Instant Incognito Recorder is for those who don’t like to get spoofed or harassed by anyone.
The app sports two Live Tiles which let the user start recording without touching anything else and preventing the screen from locking:
- The “Normal Mode” Live Tile starts a “normal” recording: everyone can clearly see that the phone is in recording mode.
- The “Incognito Mode” Live Tile is the new deal: it starts an “incognito” recording, which shows a fake Lock Screen or a completely Black Screen (user can choose in the Settings page).
The two recording modes can also be used by normally starting the app, without the Live Tiles.
Complete list of Features:
- “Normal Mode” recording: just record your surroundings as long as you want.
- “Incognito Mode” recording: record what’s happening and what’s being said around you without anyone noticing!
- History: listen back to your recordings whenever you want with the integrated player!
- SkyDrive integration: upload your recordings to SkyDrive in Wave format and use them in any way you want.
- Windows Phone 7 support!!
The app is free and ad-supported: download it here in the Windows Phone Store!
Windows Phone 8 allows users to back up their App List, Settings, Text Messages, Photos , and also their IE Favourites to SkyDrive.
Of these, only your photos are accessible from the web interface, but it seems, according to a recent leak released by LiveSide, that that is about to change , and users will have some level of access to their backed up device settings also.
LiveSide also expects a new Shared List Feature, where users can share a list of files in a bundle rather than just a folder, and this list would remain together on the receiving end. I can see this being useful for sharing collection of photos for example.
Users will also be able to mount shared folders locally on their PC, which should make collaboration with other users on projects much easier.
Read more detail at LiveSide.net here.
Microsoft has lost a trademark infringement case taken out by BSkyB for infringement of their Sky trademark by Microsoft’s SkyDrive.
The case dates back to 2011, when BSkyB initiated “an action for passing off and for infringement of two registered Community trade marks (CTMs) and two UK registered trade marks (UKTMs) for the mark ‘SKY’ by which the Claimants [BSkyB] seek to prevent the Defendants [Microsoft] from using ‘SkyDrive’ as the name for their cloud storage service throughout the European Union.”
Microsoft argued that there is no confusion between Microsoft and BSkyB’s cloud services but the judge Mrs Justice Asplin disagreed, saying the scope of BSkyB’s “SKY” registered trademarks, as well as its goodwill in the SKY brand, was such that Microsoft’s use of the “SkyDrive” mark was likely to cause confusion among consumers. She also decided that use by Microsoft of the “SkyDrive” brand was detrimental to the SKY mark which, in itself, amounted to trademark infringement.
In a statement BSkyB said “Sky is pleased with the judgment handed down today by Mrs Justice Asplin. We regard any unauthorised use of the Sky name as a clear infringement of our well-established Sky brand. We remain vigilant in protecting the Sky brand and will continue to take appropriate action against those companies that seek to use our trademarks without consent.”
Microsoft is appealing the decision, saying: “This case is only about the SkyDrive name and has nothing to do with service availability or future innovation. The decision is one step in the legal process and Microsoft intends to appeal.”
The decision in this case went again Microsoft, but an earlier litigation against Skype by Sky went nowhere, suggesting the company is rather litigious, and hopefully in the end sense will prevail.
The SkyDrive app has received a minor update to version 3.0.2.
The app allows users to:
- Access all of your SkyDrive content including files shared with you.
- View recently used documents.
- Upload photos or videos from your phone.
- Share your files and photos – send a link in email or get a link you can copy and paste.
- Manage your files – move, delete, rename, or create new folders.
- Search your SkyDrive files and folders.
Unlike most Microsoft updates this one comes with a changelog, which merely states:
New in version 3.0.2:
- Bug fixes.
Have any of our reader’s long-standing SkyDrive app issues been resolved? Let us know below.
The app can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.
Thanks S.M.A.Sithick for the tip.
With version 2.7, Note+ focuses on speed improvements for Windows Phone 7 and 8 —so fast, the experience feels like a truly native app. Speed has always been one of its main attributes, but never before has it opened, created and edited notes as fast as it does now.
Another big part of the update is Kid’s Corner integration —the first note-taking app to take advantage of this feature. So, what is it about? Simply put, it allows you to separate notes written by yourself from the ones written by your kids. This way, they’re able to type and play as long as they want, without modifying or deleting your notes. Just add Note+ to Kid’s Corner, and you’re good to go.
Finally, a lot of other small improvements were added, including the ability to lock screen orientation to either portrait or landscape mode, depending on how you’re holding the phone when you enable the option. The main Live Tile, and lock screen notifications, will only update when there’s a featured note, and setting a Security PIN won’t disable Live Tiles.
Get Note+ at the Windows Phone Store for US$1.29, or try before you buy. For being a simple yet delightful note-taking app, it offers a lot of innovative and practical features.
We have reported and protested about Microsoft spying on our SkyDrive collections, and in particular their rather prudish restriction on nudity, and of course their active policing of the content of our cloud storage.
The Tampabay Times however reports on an occasion where this vigilance paid off.
In April this year the police arrested a Florida resident who had uploaded 3,046 images of “child erotica” to his SkyDrive. Microsoft’s internal security found the photos in March, according to the warrant, and tipped off authorities.
Microsoft reported the suspicious activity to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va. The organization’s "Cybertip reports" were then forwarded to the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children task force, which notified Largo police.
The accused had no prior arrests and is the father of a 3 year old. His wife is protesting his innocence, saying "He’s a very loving father and a good provider to us. It’s not true."
Microsoft’s snooping obviously has the double-edged potential of detecting criminals and also resulting in false accusations.
Do our readers think detecting and finding such potential abusers justifies Microsoft’s rules and procedures? Let us know below.
LiveSide.net reports that the SkyDrive team is prepared to soon support 3D panoramas in the SkyDrive.com interface.
The panoramas will be based on Photosynth technology and will be the same as currently found on Photosynth.com.
LiveSide.net unfortunately did not have a time scale for the new feature, but one is reminded of the discovery of code for the creation of Photosynths in Windows 8.1, which also suggests the next major version of Windows Phone may also support this feature.
Read more at LiveSide.net.
Previously many Windows Phone users around the world did not have access to full resolution backups of their photos and videos to SkyDrive.
It turns out the issue had nothing to do with data plans, but with making sure SkyDrive had the capacity to service this demand.
According to Microsoft however this bottleneck has now been resolved, and full resolution backups will now be available for all (with possibly a few hours delay due to the roll-out of the setting).
Of note however is that this will still require a WIFI connection for the purpose of protecting users from bill shock though even this has become a somewhat antiquated attitude in the days of LTE.
We reported yesterday on an issue Windows Phone 7 users were experiencing when trying to log in using the SkyDrive app on their phones.
The issue, which was due to back-end problems at Microsoft has now been rectified, as Microsoft reports on their status page, saying:
The problem has been fixed. Thanks for your patience. 20 Apr 11:10
Unfortunately Microsoft never revealed the source of the problems, but at the time many Windows Live authentication changes were being implemented, including two factor authentication and the ability to use an alias on your account. Hopefully these problems will remain isolated issues.
Has the problem been resolved for all out readers? Let us know below.
Plaffo.com reports that numerous Windows Phone 7.5 and 7.8 users are complaining that they are not able to log into the SkyDrive app on their Windows Phone.
Those who try get the error:
Unable to log in.
Try to log on with another Windows Live ID, or go to http://login.live.com on a PC
The problem has been going on for the last few days, and Microsoft has acknowledged it on their Status page, writing:
Windows Phone 7 users may experience issues logging into the SkyDrive App 19 Apr 01:25
We’re working on the problem and will provide an update by 19 Apr 05:25. Thank you for your patience.19 Apr 03:25
We’re still working on the problem and will provide an update by 19 Apr 19:00. We apologise for the delay and thank you for your patience. 19 Apr 05:25
Fixing the problem is taking longer than we hoped. We’ll provide an update by 19 Apr 23:00. We apologise for the lengthy interruption in service. 19 Apr 18:59
We identified a solution to the problem and are working to fix it as quickly as we can. 19 Apr 23:00
So it seems the solution is on its way, and will hopefully roll out very soon.
Money Manager Pro, is one of the most powerful and complete apps for personal finance management which lets you manage all your flows, accounts and cards.
Now adds support to WP8 and brings a few new features:
- WP8 performance improvements
- new firsst usage wizard
- voice commands (beta version)
Let’s now spend a minute on new features:
First usage wizard
A weak point of Money Manager Pro has always been the first usage: the insertion of some info is required in this phase: a bank, (almost) an account and then the related cards. This
annoying operations are needed in order to take advantage of all the app capabilities…
Now we added and new simple wizard: an assistant guides the user through the app initialization and explain how to manually insert all the required info or automatically creates
standard user info: “my bank”, “my account”, “my ATM card”, etc in order to let the user immediately start enjoying the app.
Only SkyDrive account data still need to be manually inserted.
This is the strongest new feature. With voice commands user can:
- load reports page by saying “MoMa show reports“
- load previous months reports by saying “MoMa show report previous months“
- load previous month reports by saying “MoMa show report [month_name] 2013“, i.e: “MoMa show report may 2012“
- load “all flows report” by saying “MoMa show all flows“
- start new backup by saying “MoMa start new backup“
- open backup page by saying “MoMa restore backup“
- add new expense/income by saying “MoMa add expense” or “MoMa add income“. By using this command the app opens the “new flow” pageand wait for a second command to insert flow data, i.e. “restaurant 60 dollars cash“
WP8 needs a prefix for voice commands in order to details which app the command is related to. Being the app name a little bit long, we decided to shorten it into MoMa
Let’s now remember the other app main features:
- FLOWS INSERTION
- Wizard to simply insert your flows.
- Detailed reports and charts:
- current month balance
- previous months reports
- detailed month report
- ‘All flows’ report (total amount for both expenses and incomes, most frequent flows and most relevant items + charts) custom reports: you can filter flows by items, period, flow type (card/account/cash), expenses/incomes
- By right/left rotating your phone you can visualize 2 different charts for each report. You can also save each report as a PDF file or as a Excel file
- CASH & CARDS
- ‘Cash’ page to manage your available cash money and visualize last cash flows. Possibility to manage your debit, credit and pre-paid cards.
- Possibility to simply insert schedules for recursive flows by specifying the description, the amount, the start date, end date (if present), recurrence and flow type (card/account/cash)
- SKYDRIVE + REMINDER
- You can save all your data on your SkyDrive as encrypted files, within ‘My Documents’ folder and restore them whenever you want. You can also set up a reminder for the backup with a custom recurrence.
- Protect your data from being observed by someone else by using a password at app start up
- WP8 LIVE TILES (including the wide one)
- Use live tiles to keep you up to date about your accounts and cards or access you preferred pages
- ACTIVITIES, CATEGORIES and ITEMS
- The app contains 2 main activities (Home and Work) and, for each of them, several categories and items for common needs. Anyway you can customize them by adding new ones, removing useless ones and by changing relationships between them
Money Manager Pro can be found in Windows Phone Store for FREE until the end of April, then it will cost $ 2.99