Windows Phone enthusiasts, you'll be pleased to know that Microsoft has just released a new Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build -- dubbed 10149 -- for all Windows 8.1 and up powered Lumia smartphones. The new build brings improvements to the user interface, renames Project Spartan to Microsoft Edge, while also offering improvements to Cortana, Photos app alongside plenty of bug fixes.
Build 10149 will be seeded to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring today. The company is finally making it possible to jump to the next iteration of the developer preview of its impending mobile operating system without the need of having to flash the phone again. It notes that users will be able to directly snag updates from their existing builds instead of having to flash back to Windows Phone 8.1 first. Following is a list of new features and improvements you get with the new build.
WhatsApp officially introduced voice calling in mid-March, after a couple of months of private testing. The feature, which was announced a year before, arrived on Android first, making its way to iOS less than a month after. Windows Phone users, however, were left waiting.
But, thanks to the latest update to the Windows Phone app, WhatsApp Calling is now also available for those using the tiled smartphone operating system.
Once people have made the decision to go with a particular mobile operating system, they tend to stick with it. Moving all of your data from one device to another can be a bit of a pain, and it’s made even harder if you’re also switching operating systems, and have to find and re-buy all of your favorite apps.
If you’re thinking of making the move from Android to Windows Phone -- perhaps in anticipation of Windows 10 Mobile later in the year -- the process doesn’t have to be stressful. Here’s what you need to do.
There has been plenty of news about Windows 10 rolling out of Microsoft central in recent months, however the focus has been very much on the desktop version of the operating system. But, of course, Windows 10 is destined for a wide range of devices and today Microsoft starts the roll out of Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10136 to testers who have joined the Fast Ring.
Unlike upgrading from preview builds on the desktop, there's a bit of a quirk with this mobile release. Microsoft is only making the upgrade available to handsets that are running Windows Phone 8.1 -- so if you have installed build 10080, you'll need to use the Windows Phone Recovery Tool to roll it back first. As well as new features and tweaks, there's also an important note to keep in mind.
There is lots of talk surrounding the level of protection offered by leading mobile operating systems Android and iOS. Whether it is about a new vulnerability, or new security features, it does not take you long to find an authoritative comment assessing their security capabilities.
That is, however, not the case with Windows Phone, which is hardly -- if ever -- given similar levels of attention. It can be argued that this is due to the low popularity of the tiled smartphone operating system, which borders on 3 percent market share, making it a significantly less-attractive target. Nonetheless, there is now an assessment of Windows Phone's security that we can rely on, coming from Eugene Kaspersky.
For technology junkies, electricity is like crack cocaine. During a blackout, it can seem like users go through withdrawals without access to their precious internet and computers. Mobile devices are the best examples of this; when a user's smartphone battery is depleted, it is like the end of the world. They will sit on a filthy Starbucks floor just to charge their phone in an available outlet.
Sadly, more and more phone manufacturers are forgoing the removable battery option, making a battery swap an impossibility. Luckily, portable battery packs solve this issue, allowing users longer portability without needing to seek out an outlet. Today, Microsoft unveils its own such model.
Social integration is a key aspect of Microsoft's vision for its most prominent consumer-facing products. For instance, on Outlook.com you can have a Skype conversation, on Skype you can chat with Facebook friends, and on Windows Phone you can see your contacts' social updates, like tweets, in People hub. This is one of my favorite things about the software giant's products. It is also a standout feature that its rivals are not yet offering.
A core component is Facebook integration, which is present in Windows and Windows Phone, as well as Office 365, OneDrive and Outlook.com. But, thanks to an update to Facebook's Graph API, integration with the most-popular social network is going away in all currently-supported products.
While Windows Phone is not the best mobile operating system, Cortana is the best overall digital assistant. Google Now is very useful, but cold and heartless. Siri is just... a pleasant way to get the weather -- I'm only half-joking here. Microsoft's offering is a mix of personality and usefulness that truly makes life better; I cannot wait until she is available on iOS and Android.
Today, Cortana joins the mile high club. No, she is not doing anything naughty (I hope); she is making air travel a better experience for Windows Phone users. In other words, she is almost like a nagging mom or wife (or dad, husband) that gets you to the airport on time!
Microsoft announced Lumia 535 back in mid-November 2014, but the software giant is only now making this entry-level Windows Phone available through its online and brick and mortar stores in US. Lumia 535 is offered unlocked, without any carrier markings.
Lumia 535 is one of the eight unlocked Windows Phones that are available on Microsoft Store, but, even though it is an entry-level offering, it is not among the least-expensive offerings.
Mobile apps do matter, otherwise my tech-savvy sister wouldn't be giving up one of the best smartphones on the market: Nokia Lumia Icon (which is the 930 internationally). She bought the handset from me last summer and from Day 1 praised the utility and usability of the user interface, attractive but sturdy design, and amazing hardware capabilities, which include the quality of images produced by the camera.
Nanette rang Thursday afternoon, explaining that she had reached the inflection point of frustration finding apps she wanted or absolutely needed. She wanted my advice about a replacement. Should she return to iPhone (Nan used the 4 before Icon) or get an Android? Her user story illuminates what can happen when someone entrenched in the Microsoft ecosystem raises his or her head above ground and sniffs the Android and Apple air.
Cloud storage service Dropbox has turned its Windows and Windows Phone apps into a single universal app, giving users a consistent experience across smartphones, PCs and tablets that are running Microsoft's tiled operating systems.
The latest version of Dropbox bridges the gap between the Windows and Windows Phone versions of the app, sharing most of the code, also gaining a number of new features in the transition to universal app status. The most important changes are aimed at the Windows Phone-toting crowd. Some are long-overdue, being mentioned in my initial coverage of the Windows Phone client in mid-January.
While Windows Phone Store is home to lots of third-party apps, you will not see a Snapchat client in there. And it is not due to a lack of effort. The company simply does not want any such offerings to be available, actively working towards eliminating each and every one.
Rudy Huyn, a well-known Windows Phone developer, has gone as far as asking Snapchat to review the code of his 6snap client to keep the app alive in Store, but the company would not budge. Also, when Snapchat CEO Evan Spegel was told that Windows Phone users want an official app, he simply replied: "didn't think anyone used those". However, Snapchat's could-not-care-less-about-Windows-Phone stance seems to have changed, as it just announced that a Windows Phone app is on the cards.
One of the frustrations facing Windows Phone users -- much like Android fans -- is that when an OS update is announced it can be difficult to find out when, or indeed if, a particular handset will receive it. Carriers can take an age to release update to their customers.
With Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft is making things much simpler by taking over the task of pushing out updates. This means users will no longer have to wait for their mobile carrier to get around to it. It's something that will help not only to ensure that as many people as possible are using the very latest version of the operating system, but will also help to stamp out a serious problem: fragmentation.
There is an obvious trend in the Windows Phone market of offering more and more affordable smartphones. That is because most users of the tiled operating system gravitate towards low-end devices come purchase time. So, naturally, when Verizon decided to finally include a new Windows Phone in its portfolio, big red did not stray from this path.
Verizon's first Windows Phone since the launch of HTC One (M8) for Windows, nearly nine months ago, is the LG-branded Lancet, which can be had for as little as $19.99 on a two-year contract. And it is not just cheap in this trim, but off-contract too.
While Android is the clear leader in the mobile market, in the enterprise space arch-rival iOS is the platform that actually comes out on top. Apple's iPhones and iPads make up 72 percent of all mobile device activations, while handsets running the green droid operating system have to make do with just 26 percent.
Unsurprisingly, it is iPhone 6 which sustains Apple's enterprise dominance, coming out as the most-popular handset in the enterprise thanks to it making up 26 percent of all activations between January and March. Apple's flagship is followed by Samsung's Galaxy S5. Together, the two leading vendors offer 28 out of the 30 most-popular devices in the enterprise.