For the past few years, the Nokia Lumia lineup has dominated Windows Phone and provided a wide range of options—too wide, by some measures—hitting at every price point and market niche imaginable. But with Microsoft finally offering competitive Windows Phone licensing this year, we're seeing a fair number of Android device makers offering Windows Phone alternatives. And key among them is BLU, whose Win HD is no flagship but is quite affordable.
I've had an unexpected reaction to the newly-arrived Lumia 830 and Lumia 735, though I hinted at the root cause in my first impressions of the latter device. Despite their relative model numbers, the Lumia 830 isn't always better than the 735. That is, there are quite a few things I prefer about the Lumia 735, the supposed lesser of the two devices.
One of the weirder—and I have to think unfinished—changes we see in the Windows Technical Preview is the new Home view in File Explorer. This view presents what one has to assume Microsoft believes is useful information—your File Explorer favorites, frequent folders, and recent files—but I find it to be quite cluttered and borderline useless. Fortunately, you can clean it up a bit.
An often irreverent look at this week's other news, including a coming Microsoft developer event, a "new" Surface Pro 3 ad, the truth about Surface Pro 3 and the NFL is no joke, Verizon hates Windows Phone, Google and Apple hold dueling product announcements this week, FBI director still hates encryption, Google's advertising profits fall so all of Google's profits fall, and no lines for iPhone 6 in China.
While it was very obvious what Apple needed to do to fix the iPhone in 2014—bigger screens, anyone?—demonstrably improving on the world's most popular tablets has proven to be far less obvious. So with less than the usual fanfare today, Apple introduced the new iPads, which aren't much different than the previous iPads.
Well, it took a little longer than expected, but Microsoft today announced that its new unified enterprise-focused technology conference—i.e. the replacement for TechEd and several smaller shows—will be named Microsoft Ignite. Additionally, the software giant announced the dates for a few other 2015 shows, including Microsoft Build.
In the latest episode of Windows Weekly, Leo Laporte, Mary Jo Foley and I discuss the success of the Windows Technical Preview, Paul's hands-on experiences with the Lumia 830 and 735, Windows Server vNext and Docker, Satya Nadella's first major flub, Skype Qik, Surface news, and Microsoft's new Miracast devices.
Microsoft's amazing web-based app creator tool received a major update this week. Windows App Studio now supports Windows Phone app side-loading, 9 new languages, new page layouts for PCs and tablets, and much more.
Last year, Halo fans got the first mobile game in the franchise's history, the excellent "Halo: Spartan Assault." So this year, Microsoft is turning it up to 11 with a second title, "Halo: Spartan Strike," which provides an all-new story, new enemies, device-to-device play continuation, and great new graphics.
The Windows 10 File Explorer has evolved slightly from its Windows 8 incarnation. Key among the new features is a Share button that lets you share files directly from your file system using the Share contract that also debuted in Windows 8, further evidence of the merging of the two previously separate desktop and Modern environments.
Heading to the end of his term under a cloud of controversy because of his attempt to give Google a sweetheart deal and end a years-long antitrust investigation, EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia lashed out at his critics this week. And he's charging that "irrational" EU politicians, worried about privacy issues with Google's cloud services, have thwarted what he feels was a well-intentioned effort to put this case behind him.
Microsoft released a new version of Skype today for iPhone, and it's going one aim only: To ensure that this app looks nice on any supported iPhone screen. This is an issue because Apple still supports the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5/5S/5C, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in its latest OS, and each of which features a different screen size and resolution.
Google on Wednesday finally unveiled major updates to its device lineup, with a new smart phone, tablet and set-top box shipping next month alongside the next Android version, now called Lollipop. As with previous Nexus devices, the Nexus 6 smart phone and Nexus 9 tablet will provide "pure" Android experiences. And the Nexus Player set-top box is latest of several attempts by Google to gain traction in the living room.
OK, it doesn't have the greatest name in the world. But the Microsoft Screen Sharing for Lumia Phones HD-10 provides what appears to be the simplest-ever connectivity between your NFC-enabled Nokia Lumia handset and an external display, allowing you to mirror the device's screen and enjoy movies, TV shows, games, and other content on the big screen.
As we head into the critical 2014 holiday season, Microsoft Mobility has launched what will be the last-ever Nokia-branded Lumia lineup the world will ever see. And it's a good one, though hardcore fans are upset that we haven't seen a new flagship device since Microsoft took over Nokia's smart phone business in April. Here's a quick guide to how Microsoft Mobility is addressing the market with its Lumia smart phones from a pricing perspective.
It's been a while since the last What I Use, but there haven't been many major changes since late last year: Surface Pro 3 has become my go-to travel companion, I've added a third cellphone line for testing Windows Phone, Android and iPhone side-by-side, and have rotated through some new tablets and other devices. We've also switched from FIOS to Comcast and added to our set-top box collection....More
This has been a great year for Windows Phone users in so many ways. Not only did we just get a major, major OS update in Windows Phone 8.1, but Microsoft and a variety of third parties have been busy launching an unprecedented number of new and improved apps on the platform as well. With all that in mind—and with the understanding that this is just a slice in time—here's a peek at what I'm using on my own Windows Phone handset....More