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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nokia Lumia 1020 reaches AT&T for $300 up front
Nokia’s 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
API calls, Windows 8 integration features will not work
Microsoft has explained the difference between the mobile and desktop versions of Internet Explorer 10. While the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 do share the same core programming, there are some browser-based functions that the mobile version cannot do as of yet, something that web developers will need to look out for.
Windows Phone 8 handsets to debut on Verizon
An announcement from Verizon today tipped customers off to the availability of Windows Phone 8 handsets on the nation's largest carrier, with the Lumia 822 from Nokia and HTC's Windows Phone 8X going up for pre-order November 9 at 1 a.m. EST. The two new smartphones will be the first Windows Phone 8 models to appear on the nation's largest carrier. They'll both come with a number of built-in Verizon apps, such as VZ Navigator, Backup Assistant Plus, and a number of sports apps.
Monitored list of 11 million hotspots to help mobile users
Microsoft is using a crowdsourced "curated" hotspot system in Windows Phone 8, in an effort to help its mobile users manage their mobile data costs. DeviceScape is providing the technology behind the Data Sense Wi-Fi map, including data for over 11 million hotspots that have been tested for speed and connection quality.
Behind-the-scenes explain choices in Windows Phone UI
Microsoft has explained its thinking behind the Windows Phone 8 Lock screen and the home screen. Two company blog posts explain the processes behind the two screens, why the changes from what were established in Windows Phone 7.5 were made, as well as some other behind-the-scenes commentary.
On-demand streams of keynotes, sessions available
Microsoft has now put all of the session videos online from Build 2012. The conference, which took place at the Microsoft campus, was attended by Windows developers that were looking to build apps for the recently-released Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8 operating systems.
New Microsoft Windows Phone could be called Surface as well
Fresh rumors have surfaced that Microsoft is developing its own Windows Phone 8 smartphone. According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is said to be ‘testing’ is own Windows Phone 8 hardware with a device bearing a screen “between four and five inches. A similar rumor emerged in early October, with the China Times also claiming that if it pushes ahead, Microsoft will reuse the Surface brand name on the handset.
Year of ad-free Pandora, data management system added to WP8
In a media event today, Microsoft officially revealed the newest version of Windows for mobile phones, Windows Phone 8. Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's Windows Phone Program manager, took the stage early to explore the OS' new features, as well as to explore how Windows Phone 8 would help users manage their data plans, control access for whole families, and manage their social media activities. Belfiore also made certain to highlight the app ecosystem for the new OS, as well as how Microsoft has tailored its platform to allow users to personalize their devices with a range of apps and features.
New Windows Phone 8 handsets available for preorder
Best Buy and AT&T have begun releasing pricing information on the two best-known Windows Phone 8 models, the Lumia 920 Nokia and HTC's Windows Phone 8X. Best Buy is pricing the 8X at $100, while Nokia's flagship sells for $149; both prices are contingent upon a two-year contract. AT&T has announced that it will be stocking both devices, and pre-orders for the two handsets began today.
Nokia, a victim of its own success and poor choices
How does a company that was the leading mobile handset maker in the world for 15 years, and $11 Billion in cash just five years ago become an also ran? That’s a question many at Nokia must have asked themselves as they watched it lose control of its own destiny and instead become highly reliant on a strategic alliance with Microsoft to survive. A former manager with the Finnish phone giant spoke with Electronista about the company's unraveling over the past five years, which he traced to Nokia's decision to pursue both Symbian OS and Maemo OS as two distinct development initiatives.
Cross-platform music service starts on Xbox 360
Microsoft is launching its Xbox Music service far earlier than anticipated. The cross-platform music service will roll out onto Xbox 360 consoles from tomorrow, with Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8 receiving it on the 26th. Despite the multi-platform nature of the service, it will not appear on Windows 7 or handsets running earlier versions of Windows Phone.
Colorful midrange Windows Phone
As the world awaits the official Windows Phone 8 launch, HTC is showing off its forthcoming Windows Phone 8X and 8S handsets. Electronista last week checked out the flagship 8X, and HTC brought the midrange 8S to the MobileCon expo so we could take an early look at the full range of colorful Windows Phone offerings.
Windows Phone 8 smartphone to be T-Mobile exclusive
Nokia's Lumia 810, a new Windows Phone 8 smartphone, will launch as an exclusive to T-Mobile's network in the coming weeks. The news came today in a joint announcement from Nokia and T-Mobile, one noting that the Lumia 810 -- not to be confused with the Lumia 820 -- will feature compatibility with T-Mobile's 4G network and would have many of the Nokia-specific apps that have come to characterize smartphones from the Finnish manufacturer. The announcement gave no date certain for the 810's availability, but it is expected to launch shortly after the full unveiling of Windows Phone 8 at the end of this month.