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Briefly: Destiny beta on Xbox, BBC iPlayer Radio for Windows Phone 8

07/07, 5:55pm

Bungie to release Destiny beta for Xbox July 23

Bungie's first-person shooter game, Destiny, will be available in beta for Xbox One and Xbox 360 gamers starting July 23. Announced last month for PS4 as an alpha preview (beginning July 17), the online, multiplayer beta will run until July 28. Two deluxe versions of the game are available for pre-order: a $150 Ghost edition and a $100 limited edition in several collectable versions. The official full launch of Destiny is scheduled for September 9.

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Hands-on: Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft plays catch up

05/22, 7:22am

Windows 8.1 is the most competitive version of the world's number 3 mobile OS

Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 is currently available to users in a preview form ahead of a rumored late June launch. Electronista has been spending some quality time with the world's third most used mobile operating system over the past few weeks and can report that it delivers a much improved overall user experience. Headlining features like Cortana, Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri, Word Flow and the new Action Center help to put Microsoft on a much more competitive footing with Google's Android and Apple's iOS.

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Briefly: Path 2.0 for Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.1 Store updated

05/14, 2:20am

Path for Windows Phone exits beta, adds in-app purchases

Mobile social media network, Path, has released v2.0 of its app for Windows Phone 8. Exiting its beta stage that first arrived in January, the update adds in-app sticker and filter purchases and the ability to run searches. Bug fixes and overall stability improvements are also included. Path for Windows Phone can be downloaded from the Windows Phone app store.

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Microsoft confirms: Windows Phone update to be backwards compatible

01/13, 3:20pm

Windows Phone update will work on current Windows Phones

Microsoft has confirmed that the next major update for its Windows Phone operating system, believed to be called Windows Phone 8.1, will in fact be compatible with all smartphones running Windows Phone 8.0. The software giant told Computerworld last week that the forthcoming update will run on current WP8 devices, assuaging fears among some consumers that the phones that they've bought over the past year would be left behind, as was the case with devices running Windows Phone 7 when Windows Phone 8 launched in October of 2012. Current Windows Phone 8 devices, though, will run the update, and Microsoft has pledged ongoing support for those handsets through the next year or more.

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Nokia starts rolling out Lumia Black update globally

01/09, 5:59pm

Windows Phone 8 Update 3, Nokia Camera App heading to Lumia devices

Nokia has started offering its Lumia Black update for Lumia devices worldwide, after its initial rollout in the United States. The upgrade, which will take place over the next few weeks, will include a number of improvements including Windows Phone 8 Update 3, App Folders for easier Start screen personalization and grouping of apps, and support for Bluetooth LE.

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My Five Apps: Sanjiv's mobile gaming essentials

01/03, 10:05pm

Sanjiv runs through his current mobile gaming favorites

(This is the sixth in a series that showcases apps the staff at MacNN and Electronista use and recommend. The first installment, discussing media streaming and playback apps, is here. The second covered photo-editing apps, the third looked at music apps, while the fourth focused on board game conversions. The fifth and most recent focused on platform agnostic apps and can be found here.)

One of the great areas of innovation in app development for smartphones and tablets has been in mobile gaming. Trying to come up with a list of just five when there are plenty of great games out there is a challenging task to say the least. To pick my top five mobile games I've asked one simple question: If I was limited to taking only five mobile games, what would I choose to take with me on the road right now? I've also tried to include titles that I can take with me on one or more of the three mobile platforms that I use on a daily basis, which includes iOS, Android and Windows RT. Read on to find out what I've picked and why, although these are in no particular order.

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Briefly: Microsoft offers Windows Phone 8 games, Rdio shutters Vdio

12/29, 7:53pm

Microsoft adds classic Windows desktop games to Windows Phone 8

Owners of Windows Phone 8 devices can now download updated versions of classic Windows desktop games, according to the company blog. The Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Minesweeper, and Mahjong are all listed in the Windows Phone Store, and introduce features such as Xbox Live integration, stat tracking, and the option to start a game on one device then completing it at a later time on another.

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Microsoft offering New York Times free for 30 days for Windows users

12/29, 7:34pm

Microsoft offering one month of NYT for Windows users

Microsoft is rolling out a new perk for users of devices running a number of its Windows builds. TechNet on Friday pointed out that the software giant is now offering a free 30-day trial subscription for The New York Times app. The offer is available to all Windows users that can download apps through either the Windows Store or the Windows Phone Store.

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Lumia 1520 sells out in Indian debut, all color options snapped up

12/29, 4:26pm

Nokia's Lumia 1520 sells out of initial Indian run

Nokia's Lumia 1520 handset appears to have seen initial success following its launch in India. The six-inch, Windows Phone 8-powered phablet has sold through all color options in that country, WinBeta notes, just days after its debut. The quick sell-through is surprising, given the Indian market's typical preference for lower cost handsets.

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Microsoft brings Xbox Music, Video to Windows Phone 8

12/18, 1:29pm

Microsoft brings Xbox media apps to Windows Phone

Microsoft has rolled out a pair of Windows Phone 8 users the ability to access its Xbox Music and Xbox Video services. The two new standalone apps will sync playlists between a user's Windows Phone device and any other computers running the Xbox Music or Video app, with playlists and other content persistent between them. The apps have rolled out ahead of the expected release of Microsoft's next major Windows Phone update, Windows Phone 8.1.

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Microsoft's Cortana assistant to debut in Windows Phone 8.1

12/16, 2:28pm

WP8.1 to bring Cortana, notifications

Microsoft's forthcoming update to its Windows Phone platform, Windows Phone 8.1, will reportedly feature two big additions: a notification center and a virtual assistant in the vein of Apple's Siri. The software giant, which will soon complete a deal to buy the manufacturer that makes the best selling devices that run Windows Phone, will detail its plans for Windows Phone 8.1 in more detail in April, according to The Verge. Microsoft is also working on a number of other software additions for its smartphone operating system.

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Windows Phone 8.1 screenshots show up with on-screen buttons

12/15, 9:15am

Windows Phone 8.1 could ditch capacitive buttons in update

Microsoft's forthcoming Windows Phone 8.1 software update may add on-screen navigation buttons in the vein of some implementations of Google's Android system, according to new images. Serial tech leaker @evleaks posted a partial screenshot from Windows Phone "Blue" – a codename for Windows Phone 8.1 – and the on-screen buttons are featured in that shot. The move toward software buttons could allow for different types of Windows Phone form factors, as Microsoft had previously required that manufacturing partners have capacitive buttons on their devices with the release of Windows Phone 8.

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Briefly: Aereo in Baltimore, Italian Sky Go app hits Windows Phone 8

12/05, 10:39am

Aereo launching cloud DVR service in Baltimore on December 16

Aereo has revealed that it will be launching its cloud-based DVR service in Baltimore in time for Christmas. Residents in the Baltimore metropolitan area, including 11 central Maryland counties, will be able to sign up and subscribe to the service when it goes live on December 16th, though this will still leave Aereo considerably short of its goal of expanding to 22 US cities before the end of this year.

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Microsoft giving away new Eminem album on Xbox Music

12/02, 3:55pm

New Eminem album free, others discounted

Microsoft is giving hip-hop loving users of its Xbox Music service the chance to download a free copy of Eminem's Marshal Mathers LP2. The company's Major Nelson announced the giveaway on Monday, saying that it is open to Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone users. Downloading the album on any one Windows device will grant access to it across all of one's Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8 devices, as well as on one's Xbox console.

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Windows 'Threshold' said to follow Windows Blue/8.1 in 2015

12/02, 2:02pm

Microsoft continues rapid update strategy with Windows 'Threshold'

Microsoft's follow-up to Windows 8.1 will is said to be codenamed "Threshold." This according to ZDNet, which cites sources within the company as saying that the next major Windows update will come in the year 2015. The "Threshold" update is said to cover not only Windows and Windows Phone devices, but also Microsoft's recently released Xox One console.

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Microsoft says Windows 8, RT, Phone 8 to merge over time

11/26, 2:55pm

Microsoft says three Windows platforms not ideal long term

Microsoft is working to bring the number of Windows platforms on the market down to at most two in over the next few years. This according to Microsoft executive Julie Larson-Green, who spoke at the UBS Global Technology Summit recently, saying that the company definitely plans to winnow the number of platforms it has, but that that process will likely take some time. Larson-Green neglected to specify exactly how Microsoft will accomplish the task.

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Microsoft adds phablet support to next Windows Phone 8 update

10/14, 10:14am

GDR3 will work with Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor in future

Microsoft will be adding support for phablets in the next Windows Phone 8 update, among other new additions. The third general release update for the mobile operating system, also known as GDR3, will pave the way for Windows Phone devices with five-inch and six-inch displays, and will be taking advantage of the higher resolutions by allowing the Start screen to show up to six Live Tiles across instead of four, as well as scaling up existing core WP8 apps.

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Windows Phone 8 gains FIPS approval, usable on US government networks

09/18, 11:46am

Accreditation of Windows Phone 8 brings it in line with Apple, Samsung

The Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system has earned a key government accreditation, allowing it to be used on secure networks operated by the US government. The FIPS 140-2 certification allows for Windows Phone devices to come under consideration for governmental organizations to use in situations requiring security and the use of encrypted communications.

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Microsoft to buy Nokia's wireless segment for $7.2B

09/03, 12:37am

Microsoft makes big step into mobile with Nokia buy

Software giant Microsoft continued its transformation into a devices and services entity on Tuesday, announcing that it would buy the mobile phone operations of troubled Finnish manufacturer Nokia. Microsoft confirmed the deal to Reuters on Tuesday. The Nokia buy will cost the Redmond giant roughly $7.2 billion, and the deal should close by the first quarter of 2014.

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Briefly: Nokia ships WP8 Amber update, Yahoo Weather for Android

08/15, 3:43pm

Nokia commences rollout of Amber update to Lumia phones

Nokia has started to roll out the Amber update for Lumia devices running on Windows Phone 8. The rollout, set to occur throughout August until the end of September according to Nokia Conversations, will introduce the Smart Camera app, improved image processing, the Nokia Pro Camera for Lumia 920, 925, and 928; Nokia Glance Screen for when phones are inactive, faster map updates, changes to Xbox Music and Internet Explorer, and a new FM radio app.

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Google extends support for Windows Phone 8 in Google Sync

08/01, 7:10am

Microsoft has until December 31st to roll out CalDAV, CardDAV support

Google has extended the use of Sync for Windows Phone Users until December 31st. Google Sync, which provides integration with Google's contact and calendar services, was initially set to be closed to new activations on August 1st, but this has been extended further than the already-extended cut-off date to the end of this year.

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Nokia Lumia 1020 gets first teardown

07/31, 6:56am

Nokia Lumia 1020 reveals tightly packed internals

The Nokia Lumia 1020 PureView 42-megapixel camera phone has had its internals splayed open for the first time. Posted on Chinese site Baidu, the new teardown gives an insight into how Nokia managed to pack in the best smartphone camera module on the market into a device that is thinner and 30 grams lighter than the Lumia 920. The photos of the internals of a Lumia 1020 prototype highlight the way in which Nokia managed to dramatically cut down the size of the camera module in the original Symbian OS-powered PureView 808 so that its design would not be compromised.

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Nokia Lumia 1020 41MP camera phone up for pre-order on AT&T

07/16, 8:14am

Nokia Lumia 1020 reaches AT&T for $300 up front

Nokias Lumia 1020 Windows Phone 8 flagship handset is now up for pre-order with AT&T. As expected, the device is retailing for $300 on a two-year contract, putting it into the same price point as other flagship devices from both Apple and Samsung. The Lumia 1020 is distinguished by a 41-megapixel PureView image sensor complemented by Carl Zeiss optics with a six-element lens.

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Windows Phone 8 users set to get GDR2 update soon

07/12, 7:15am

Window Phone 8 users get feature tweaks, major update due 2014

Windows Phone 8 users can look forward to a software update over the coming days. Referred to as the General Distribution Release 2 (GDDR2) (8.0.10327.77), the new update will bring several improvements, but which are relatively minor in nature. A more major Windows Phone Blue update is currently under development, but is not expected to see a wider release until 2014. Among its features is a notification center that has previously leaked out.

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Briefly: AT&T Locker on Windows Phone, Harry Potter on Street View

07/06, 9:53pm

AT&T Locker cloud storage app reaches Windows Phone 8

AT&T has released its cloud storage app for Windows Phone 8 devices. Spotted at WPCentral, the AT&T Locker, already available on iOS and Android, provides users access to a free 5GB storage allocation, with options to extend the storage further also available at a cost. Despite appearing in the Windows Phone Store for all to download, it will only accept registrations from the carrier's subscribers, and not from others.

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Briefly: WP8 to get 1080p support, Surface Pro 256GB inbound

07/02, 7:41am

MS updating WP8 for 1080p, quad-core support, 256GB Surface coming

Windows Phone 8 users are set to join Android users who currently enjoy 1080p displays on their smartphones. Although no WP8 phones have been confirmed as bringing 1080p displays to market yet, an emulation function in Visual Studio 2013 has been discovered to offer the resolution for testing. Microsoft is also said to be adding support for quad-core processors in the next version of its mobile phone OS, as it seeks to match Android devices for specs in the highly competitive smartphone segment. However, the updated OS is not due until the end of 2013.

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Briefly: Nokia offers cash for trade-ins, Sprint Galaxy S4 offer rumor

06/28, 2:06pm

Nokia providing up to $300 for trade-ins after purchase of Lumia

Nokia is offering customers in the US prepaid Visa cards in exchange for trading in their old phone when buying a new Lumia with Windows Phone 8 installed. The program will offer up to $300 for a smartphone, depending on the model and quality of handset, with the prepaid card sent to claimants after their existing smartphone has been sent off for processing.

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HTC 8XT, Samsung ATIV S Neo with WP8 reach Sprint this summer

06/26, 4:17pm

New Samsung, HTC WP8 smartphones to use Sprint LTE network

Sprint has revealed it will be launching two Windows Phone 8 handsets with LTE connectivity on its network later this summer. The HTC 8XT and Samsung ATIV S Neo will both appear on the carrier, and will be offered alongside Sprint's 'Truly Unlimited' plan, which allows for unlimited use of 4G LTE data without worry of excess charging.

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Huawei confirms Ascend W2 with Windows Phone 8, 4.3-inch screen

06/26, 9:54am

Ascend W2 shown at Mobile Asia Expo with China Mobile TD-LTE

The rumored Huawei Ascend W2 has been confirmed by the company, after making an appearance at the Mobile Asia Expo. Appearing on the Huawei stand, the Ascend W2 is a low-cost Windows Phone 8 device, complete with a 4.3-inch WVGA IPS display, a range of three colors, and a styling reminiscent of the Nokia Lumia range.

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HTC Tiara Windows Phone 8 for Sprint press shot leaks out

06/11, 7:15am

HTC Tiara Windows Phone 8 mid-range handset imminent

The HTC Tiara Windows Phone 8 smartphone heading to Sprint has had its official press shot leaked online ahead of its launch. Also confirmed are its mid-range specifications, which first leaked back in February. The device looks much like revised version of its HTC Android-powered stable mate, the HTC One SV, which also features similar specs.

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Notification center pops up in leaked Windows Phone 8.x shots

06/08, 1:01pm

Windows Phone to get notification center, more features

Microsoft appears to be preparing to add a slew of new features to its Windows Phone 8 operating system, according to new leaked screenshots. First spotted on a Windows Phone buyer's Flickr feed, there's no word on when the features shown off in the shots might actually see release, but they demonstrate that Microsoft isn't yet giving up on its fledgling mobile platform, even as it struggles to gain market share. Chief among the new features: Microsoft appears to be appearing with a notification center for its platform.

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First Windows Phone 8 smartphone from Huawei hits US this month

05/09, 1:53pm

Walmart to be exclusive retailer, selling W1 as prepaid smartphone

Huawei will be putting its first Windows Phone 8 device on sale in the United States as a prepaid device in the near future. The Huawei Ascend W1, renamed the Huawei W1 for the US market, will be made available in Walmart stores and Walmart.com later this month, and retains the same specifications and feature set that Electronista saw at Mobile World Congress in February.

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Nokia parodies Apple-Samsung phone wars in latest ad

04/29, 7:00pm

Lumia, Windows Phone portrayed as being above the fray

In a new TV ad that vaguely recalls the Tareyton cigarette slogan "I'd rather fight than switch" from the 1960s, a new commercial for the Nokia Lumia 920 and its Windows Phone 8 OS pokes fun at the war between Apple and Samsung (and their respective users) in an amusing manner, portraying Nokia's offering as being outside the fray and a fresh alternative. The ad features a brawl breaking out at a wedding between iPhone and Galaxy users and features a number of witty moments, including the Siri signature sound and man with an Apple tattoo.

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Rumor: Huawei Ascend W2 specifications, image leaked

04/12, 9:52am

Windows Phone 8 smartphone uses 8MP camera, 1.5GHz processor

Details relating to the Huawei Ascend W2 specifications have reportedly appeared online. The high-end Windows Phone 8 device is alleged to have a Qualcomm S4 processor running at 1.5GHz supported by 1GB of RAM, along with an image showing a slightly more rounded design compared to its predecessor, the Ascend W1.

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Nokia Lumia 521 to hit T-Mobile in the US in May

04/09, 3:28pm

Windows Phone 8 smartphone includes Cinemagraph, Here apps

T-Mobile will be bringing the Nokia Lumia 521 to the United States, sometime in May. The entry-level Windows Phone 8 handset, bearing more than a passing resemblance to the Lumia 520 unveiled by the manufacturer at Mobile World Congress in February, will be able to connect to T-Mobile's 4G network.

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Microsoft to end support for Windows Phone 8, 7.8 mid-2014

03/18, 8:53am

Update period could be extended past initial 18 months

Microsoft will stop supporting Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8 in mid-2014, according to a product support lifecycle table. Updates, including those to help secure the mobile operating systems, will last until July 8, 2014 for Windows Phone 8, while Windows Phone 7.8 users will see its life cycle support continue until the 9th of September.

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Review: Samsung Ativ Odyssey Windows Phone for Verizon

03/14, 3:19am

Latest midrange Windows Phone

Verizon has offered only a few choices for Windows Phone devices, recently adding Samsung's Ativ Odyssey as the fourth option. With a $50 subsidized price tag, the handset sits between HTC's Windows Phone 8X and Nokia's Lumia 822. In our full review, we try to determine if the Odyssey represents a viable competitor among its close peers and in the broader smartphone market.

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Rhapsody updates Windows Phone 8 app with offline music

02/17, 8:19pm

Downloadable albums, revamped music library

Music service Rhapsody has updated its application for Windows Phone 8, adding a number of new features. The revised software includes a number of changes to work fully with the operating system as well as some cosmetic alterations, and now offers subscribers an option to listen to downloaded music offline.

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Spotify launches Windows Phone 8 music-streaming app in beta

02/08, 1:04pm

App required complete rebuild from Windows Phone 7 version

Streaming music service Spotify is now available to use on Windows Phone 8 devices. Now downloadable from the Windows Phone Store, the new Windows Phone 8-specific app is launching in beta, and offers new users a free trial lasting for 30 days, before requiring the premium service subscription of $10 per month.

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Vodafone launches Windows Phone 8 collection in UK

02/07, 7:39am

Five Nokia, HTC handsets with WP8 go on sale

British carrier Vodafone has started to offer a number of Windows Phone 8 devices on it's network in the United Kingdom. The Nokia Lumia 920, Lumia 820, and Lumia 620 is joined by the HTC 8X and 8s for the carrier's WP8 launch, with only the Samsung Ativ S making a notable absence from the device roster.

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Samsung ATIV Odyssey for Verizon pegged for January 24

01/18, 6:01am

Mid-range Samsung ATIV Odyssey gets January 24 debut on Verizon

The previously leaked Samsung ATIV Odyssey Windows Phone 8 smartphone has been pegged for a January 24 launch on Verizon. Although appearing similar to the flagship 4.8-inch ATIV S, the ATIV Odyssey will sit beneath that handset with a 4-inch display. It will carry a 4G LTE radio, along with standard Windows Phone 8 specifications.

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Hands-on: Huawei's Ascend D1 LTE, Ascend W1

01/10, 4:08pm

Ascend D1 LTE bound for Japanese market

If you're familiar at all with astrophysics, you'll understand how the gravitational pull of Huawei's Ascend Mate phablet drew us back to the Chinese manufacturer's booth for the second day in a row. This time, we crossed the event horizon in order to check out Huawei's other offerings, namely the Ascend D1 LTE and Huawei's Windows Phone offering, the Ascend W1. Huawei also had a few tablet offerings on display that we'll get to later, but for the moment these two actual hand-friendly handsets were our targets for handling.

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Report: HTC drops plan for five-inch WP8 phone over displays

12/17, 12:58pm

Lack of support for high-resolution screens cited as cause

HTC is reportedly scrapping its plans to build a five-inch Windows Phone 8 handset, with software restrictions said to be to blame. It is said that a Microsoft-enforced limitation on screen resolutions, was the primary cause for the change of plans, along with a limitation for what processors could be used on WP8 devices.

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Google: No Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 apps until use rises

12/12, 7:06pm

No Gmail or Drive apps for MS; Google to focus on Android, iOS

Google won't be rolling out apps for its Gmail or Google Drive apps for Microsoft's Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 platforms in the near future. This according to the product management director at Google Apps, who says that the company has not seen any indication of interest in apps for the new generation of Windows. Instead, Google is committed to continually growing and improving its app suite on iOS and Android.

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Leak shows Samsung ATIV S WP8 for Bell on December 14

12/12, 7:03am

Leak places Samsung ATIV S for mid-December launch

A tipster has handed Mobile Syrup a screenshot from what appears to be a Bell Canada inventory showing that the Samsung ATIV S could be set for sale on December 14. The long-awaited Windows Phone 8 flagship handset is expected retail for $80 on a three-year plan or off-contract for $600. The ATIV S was the first major Windows Phone 8 handset to be unveiled earlier this year, however it has been subject to delay with speculation surrounding the short supply of its 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display.

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Microsoft explains enhancements to its WP8 keyboard

12/07, 5:57am

Microsoft details the art of making a smartphone soft keyboard work

Microsoft has published a blog explaining the enhancements it has made to the soft keyboard in Windows Phone 8. Among the improvements over the keyboard in Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has introduced a feature it calls Word Flow that it has designed to reflect how people talk to each other. To get the auto-correct and predictive text function working with 94 percent accuracy out of the box, it says it reviewed over 2.5 billlion words from which it picked the 600,000 most common.

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Nokia adds Lumia 620 to Windows Phone 8 smartphone range

12/05, 7:35am

Budget handset keeps NFC, adds dual-shot back covers

Nokia has added a new Windows Phone 8 handset to its range, joining the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920. The Lumia 620 is the company's "third and most affordable" in its Windows 8 handset range, and is the first to use a new dual-shot color technique to its case design, namely adding a second layer of polycarbonate to create "secondary color blends and depth effects."

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Nokia's Lumia 920 said to surge in US, Europe

12/03, 3:08pm

Lumia 920 surges in Europe off LTE capability

Early indicators seem to have Nokia's Lumia 920 giving the Finnish company a much needed sales boost, as some analysts have the 920 grabbing the number three spot among smartphones in the United States. Meanwhile, in Europe, the 920's ability to connect to more 4G LTE networks than Apple's iPhone may be helping Nokia's ability to compete in that market. The Lumia 920, which runs Microsoft's Windows Phone 8, is widely regarded as a must-win handset for Nokia, as the smartphone maker's fortunes have suffered badly in the face of stiff competition from Apple, Samsung, and others.

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Microsoft China to launch Windows Phone 7.8 in coming weeks

11/25, 5:17pm

Windows Phone update expected globally shortly after

Microsoft is set to launch Windows Phone 7.8 for the Chinese market in the "coming weeks." The comments of the Greater China Vice President of Microsoft made the comments, suggesting that a release of the upgrade for older handsets will be taking place in the rest of the world in the not too distant future.

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Microsoft releases preview Skype app for Windows Phone 8

11/12, 5:46am

Preview includes always-on background service, full video chat

Microsoft has released a preview version of Skype for Windows Phone 8. Announced during the recent Windows Phone 8 event, the preview version includes the ability for the app to run as a background service, saving on battery power and processing, and for incoming Skype calls to come through to the handset in the same style as a normal phone call.

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