Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Janet I. Tu.
Topic: windows phone 8
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October 14, 2013 at 8:41 AM
The third update for Windows Phone 8 is out and it supports the larger screen sizes that are becoming more popular — the so-called “phablet” trend (“phone” plus “tablet”).
Microsoft sees a bright future in these phablets with screen sizes ranging from 5 to 7 inches, said Greg Sullivan, senior marketing manager for Windows Phone.
Samsung popularized the phablet trend with the release of its Galaxy Note in 2011. Nokia is expected to announce that it is releasing a Windows Phone phablet later this month.
The latest Windows Phone update “paves the way for future Windows Phone devices with 5- and 6-inch touch screens,” with the larger display enabling a user to include more tiles on the Start screen, according to Microsoft.
The update (which Microsoft is not calling “Windows Phone 8.1″) also includes “Driving Mode,” a new feature that limits distractions from notifications on the lock screen while the user is driving, and allows the user to send automatic replies to calls and texts, saying he/she is driving.
Microsoft outlines other features in the update in a blog post here.
Windows Phone has overtaken BlackBerry as the world’s No. 3 smartphone operating system, according to research firms Gartner and IDC. And in some markets, including the Latin America region and India, it’s the No. 2 smartphone O.S. But its worldwide market share, at around 3 to 4 percent both worldwide and in the U.S., still lags far behind Android’s and Apple’s iOS.
May 10, 2013 at 9:00 AM
Nokia is launching the Lumia 928, its newest high-end Windows Phone, on Thursday. The phone, which will be carried by Verizon, will sell for $99.99, after a $50 mail-in rebate and with a two-year contract.
The phone, which will come in either black or white, has a 4.5-inch OLED screen with 1280 x 768 resolution and an aspect ratio of 15:9. It has a 1.5 GHz dual core, Qualcomm processor, a 8.7 megapixel camera with Xenon flash, and 32GB of internal memory.
For a limited time, the phone will also come with a $25 credit for the Windows Phone store, which Microsoft says now has 145,000 apps and games.
ZDNet has a good comparison of the 928 and the Lumia 920.
It’s a busy month for Nokia’s Lumia line. In addition to this latest version of a flagship Windows Phone, Nokia is also launching the entry-level Lumia 521 in Wal-Mart and T-Mobile stores.
May 9, 2013 at 8:32 AM
The Huawei W1 is joining the Nokia Lumia 521 in Wal-Mart’s line of presumably lower priced, no-contract Windows Phone devices.
The Huawei W1, known overseas as the Ascend W1 and which has been described as an entry-level phone, is expected to be available at Wal-Mart later this month. While neither Huawei nor Wal-Mart disclosed the price, the phone “will use a no-contract prepaid plan and be priced ‘competitively,’” the official Windows Phone blog says, citing a Huawei executive.
The Lumia 521, meanwhile, is expected to become available at Wal-Mart starting on Saturday. It is eligible for a no contract, $30 per month unlimited data and texting plan on T-Mobile. It looks like Wal-Mart is pricing it at about $130, according to the retailer’s website.
March 21, 2013 at 9:44 AM
Internet radio service Pandora, as promised last year, has produced an app for Windows Phone.
The app provides ad-free streaming radio for free through the 2013 calendar year. In addition, it takes advantage of Windows Phone’s Live Tiles interface by using a Live Tile that shows what’s playing and allows users access favorite stations directly from their start screen.
Pandora for Windows Phone can be downloaded here.
The Windows Phone Store, though it still falls behind Apple’s and Google’s app stores in number of apps, has been growing and now has more than 130,000 apps and games.
March 18, 2013 at 5:02 PM
There’s been some buzz today about whether Microsoft’s product lifecycle table — which shows end of mainstream support for Windows Phone 8 — means that people who just bought a Windows Phone 8 device and are tied to a two-year contract would end up unsupported. Or will WP8 users to be able to upgrade to the next version of Windows Phone when it comes out?
It looks like the latter, based on this statement from Microsoft:
“As we’ve said, one benefit of moving to the Windows core is that Windows Phone 8 is upgradeable. This means that even beyond the updates we’re committing to distribute for 18 months, Windows Phone 8 devices will be able to upgrade to the next version of Windows Phone when it is launched.”