The sun is finally setting on Windows Phone 8.1. Microsoft is officially ending support for the Windows Phone 8.1 OS, more than three years after it was introduced. Millions of users with Windows Phone 8.1 phones will stop receiving security updates, non-security updates, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.
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Microsoft has decided to clean its Windows App Store by removing some of the apps. The company has announced today that it is ending support and updates for a number of Lumia camera-related apps on Windows Phone 8.1 devices.
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Microsoft on Thursday launched another budget Lumia smartphone – the Lumia 430 Dual SIM – in India at Rs. 5,299, and it is company’s most affordable Lumia smartphone till date. Continue reading “Microsoft Lumia 430 Dual SIM hands on”
Microsoft has released first update for Windows Phone 8.1 to developers. The company’s Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore officially announced the update at an event in Beijing yesterday. One of the most important feature of the update is support for Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana.
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Microsoft has just announced the next minor update to their mobile platform, called the Windows Phone 8.1 Update. The update brings the highly awaited Cortana personal assistant to markets like China, with extra localization, as a beta and countries like India, Australia and Canada, as an alpha. Apart from Cortana rolling out to other countries, the update also brings some extra user-facing additions like support for Live Folders on the start screen and better VPN support and so on. The update is rolling out next week for phones running on the developer preview and will eventually roll out later to Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the coming months.
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Nokia’s devices and services division, now officially part of Microsoft, unveiled the Lumia 630 Windows Phone at their developer conference at San Francisco. This low end Windows Phone, which will cater to the budget customer, has a number of firsts and even a last, in terms of features. It is the first Windows Phone 8.1 device to be launched into the market, it is the first Dual SIM Windows Phone, it is the first Windows Phone with a quad core Snapdragon 400 chip and also the first one to support on-screen navigation buttons. But, having launched before April 25th, this, along with the Lumia 930, will be the last Windows Phones with a “Nokia” brand on them. Sporting a price tag of Rs. 11,500, the successor to the yesteryear Lumia 620 sports a bigger screen, with roughly the same resolution, undercuts it by a couple of thousands, but loses the LED flash and goes for a cheaper bill of materials (referred to as BoM from here on) generally. With the RAM staying at 512 MB, does the Lumia 630 Dual SIM Windows Phone strike a good balance between price and specifications in this crucial segment? Lets find out in our full review.
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Back when Joe Belfiore took part in an AMA on Reddit, for Windows Phone 8.1, he revealed that Microsoft had an official File Manager app ready and it will be coming soon. That day has arrived, as the “Files” app has made its way on to the store. With the new WinRT APIs for 8.1, Microsoft had enabled the file picker and file access for third party apps, and it was only about time that they made a first party app too. This should have been released along with the operating system, but hey, at least we get full file management on Windows Phone now. Grab it from the link below, from the Windows Phone Store –
“Files” for Windows Phone
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The Nokia Lumia 630 is the first Windows Phone 8.1 device to launch in the market, including in India, where it has been launched in the Dual SIM flavour, another first. Priced at Rs. 11,500 for the MRP, the device seeks to occupy the place between the 525 and its predecessor, Lumia 620, but sports much improved specs on the inside, keeping things a bit similar on the outside. This new device is set to be the first of hopefully many dual SIM Windows Phone devices from Microsoft, which might make things interesting in the Windows Phone market. Anyway, we have got the Indian retail version of the Lumia 630 and here is the unboxing video of it, with a detailed overview of the device hardware –
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Microsoft had some strategic announcements during the Mobile World Congress, in which they announced the addition of new OEM partners that had signed up for making Windows Phone devices. Some of the new additions were Indian manufacturers like Lava, Xolo, Karbonn and later Micromax. In that lineup, we have two more OEMs added to the lineup today, and they are BLU and K-Touch. BLU is possibly the Micromax of the US while K-Touch is known for being an OEM as well as a ODM, which does contract manufacturing for other companies. The addition of these two new OEMs means a wider range of Windows Phone 8.1 devices that are all set to be released in the coming months. Will the third ecosystem finally pick up some steam?
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Windows Phone 8.1 debuted as a developer preview just a month ago, and today, it has received its first update, in preparation for a wider consumer launch later in the coming weeks or months. The update, first publicized by Windows Phone champion Joe Belfiore, reportedly brings many bug fixes, some new features and the much needed battery life improvements some users had wanted. The update is immediately available for download from the “Phone update” section under the Windows Phone settings menu.
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File management is one of the most underrated features of a mobile operating system. For any platform to be truly independent, a file manager that allows local storage and management of any kind of file, is a necessity and with Windows Phone 8.1, this is finally happening. After moving to WinRT APIs for its latest mobile release, Microsoft has finally added the ability to download or upload files on the phone’s browser or through various apps, using the file picker. The file picker naturally necessitates a file manager, which will be released as a standalone app by Microsoft, as revealed and teased on a Reddit AMA, by the company’s Windows Phone champion, Joe Belfiore. The app is almost ready and is reportedly set to release this month.
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Windows Phone 8.1 has been out as a developer preview for just a little more than a week, but we are already seeing developers updating their apps to support the OS’ new features. Among the many apps being updated is Wikipedia, developed by Rudy Huyn. This app is the closest to an official app from one of the world’s largest resources for information, as it is made by a popular third party developer with Wikipedia themselves approving and endorsing it for the platform. The app now has been updated to include support for Cortana, the new personal voice assistant and one of the major new features of the OS. Once updated, the v2.3 will let you directly search for topics using your voice by giving simple commands to Cortana.
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As promised, Microsoft has initiated the Developer Preview program today, for its latest and greatest mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8.1. Touting a new virtual assistant, tile backgrounds and a lot more, the update is now available for download as a part of the enthusiast program that officially started with the GDR3 update for Windows Phone 8. Microsoft had its grand reveal of the newest operating system at the Build developers conference, with them showing off all the new features in a lengthy keynote. The highlight was, of course, Cortana, the new virtual assistant that provides a combination of functionality from Apple’s Siri and Google’s own Voice and contextual assistant.
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Itching to get your hands on the latest build of Windows Phone 8.1 and really don’t want to wait till your carrier pushes out the update? Microsoft has made it easy for you. Starting April 14th, you’ll be able to download the update as a preview release. Continue reading “Windows Phone 8.1 update to be available as developer preview starting April 14th”
Cortana, once popular for being Master Chief’s personal assistant, is now truly digital, as it takes the form of Windows Phone’s own virtual assistant. Cortana is Microsoft’s take on Siri and Google Now, currently the two popular voice assistants for iOS and Android respectively. While Siri took a more personal approach to an assistant, Google took it another way with contextual search and ambient presence, while Cortana is trying to marry the both. Powered by Bing’s neural networks, Cortana literally takes advantage of all the data mined over the search engine’s life time. And not only that, it will learn you like Google Now on actions and like Siri on personal detail, which makes it a decent competitor to Google.
Read more about Windows Phone 8.1 here
Continue reading “This is Cortana, Microsoft’s take on Siri and Google Now”