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Windows Phone to run Android apps

Seattle based software developer Microsoft is said to be seriously considering allowing Android apps to run on its Windows operating systems – both desktop and mobile phone.

This information comes from sources familiar with Microsofts’ plans, according to The Verge.

That would match BlackBerry’s 10 OS offering, where Google Play APKs can be side loaded very easily, to the likes of the BlackBerry Z30 handset – running the latest version of the platform.

The companys’ plans are noted to be in the early stages, but an insider said Microsoft is in favour of the idea of enabling Android apps inside its Windows and Windows Phone stores.

Others, are said to believe it could lead to the death of the Windows Platform, altogether.

The title added that the mixed (and strong) feelings internally, highlight that Microsoft will need to be careful with any radical move.

This could be an alternative to the company’s alleged plans to want a dual booting Windows Phone/Android handset.

Omio reported that Microsoft had approached HTC with this request, possibly to try and increase the footprint of Windows Phone.

That was in October last year, although we haven’t heard any more about this.

It could still be early days, where if any of these were to happen, it wouldn’t be anytime soon

Windows Phone 8.1 passes certification

Seattle based software developer Microsoft has had its Windows Phone 8.1 operating system appear on the Bluetooth Special Interest Group website, ahead of its release.

Windows-Phone-8.1-BSIG

The supposed upcoming operating system has passed Bluetooth 4.0 certification.

This is all before it is rolled out to new and possibly existing, Windows Phone mobiles.

NokiaPowerUser has covered this, noting that the platform is expected to be released to manufacturers in March.

This is where developers can get hold of it in April, and users, May.

Not a great deal can be gleaned from the information on Bluetooth SIG, but it has already made an appearance in other leaks.

That is on the alleged smaller version of the Nokia Lumia 1520, within the about screen of the handset.

Windows Phone 8.1 is also said to have its own notification centre, plus a personal assistant.

The latter would be how Apple’s Siri, or Google Now, works.

The notification aspect to the OS is noted to be accessible by long swipe, from the top of the screen.

We have also published a supposed image of the lock screen settings, showing how notifications could be customised.

Microsoft’s next-gen mobile phone has also seen the on-screen controls, leaked.

This is with its in-display based back, home button and search functionality – placing it on par with Android.

Sony making a Windows Phone handset, according to even more sources

* UPDATED *

Formerly Sony Ericsson, now Sony Mobile is reportedly going down the Microsoft OS route, for the first time, in a number of years.

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Sony is said to be considering launching a Windows Phone 8 mobile phone, as soon as mid-2014.

The publication, The Information, has reported on this – citing a person involved in the talks.

It also credits another, who was briefed on the device.

That could mean that a prototype is already in production, with the timescale indicated that it might be announced soon.

There are two likely platforms for its unveiling: Las Vegas’ CES, starting next week, or Mobile World Congress.

The latter is held at the end of February, where Sony might have a bigger impact – announcing it then.

The title notes this news comes as Microsoft is making new moves to attract other partners, such as China-based ZTE.

It also states that there are possible incentives for potential Windows Phone handset makers, which include slashing the software licensing fees.

Sony has been noticeably absent from the Windows Phone market, missing both Windows 7 and Windows 8 iterations.

Its last Microsoft mobile OS based device was the Sony Ericsson Xperia X2, from early 2010, running Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional.

Via: The Verge

UPDATE:

Digitimes cites  industry sources, in that Sony Mobile Communications has decided to launch Windows Phone 8-based smartphones, while concentrating its R&D efforts on Android and Firefox models.

Windows Phone users get 20GB, free

Seattle based software developer Microsoft has announced that it is giving away SkyDrive storage, to the tune of 20GB.

This is for Windows Phone customers, where this amount is being gifted – for the duration of a year.

It adds to the existing 7GB already provided, or 25GB, if you took SkyDrive, before it was reduced to the smaller amount.

WP customers are now being informed of the 20GB gift, through an email.

It notes: “To show our appreciation of Windows Phone customers, we are giving you an extra 20 GB of free SkyDrive storage for one year.”

SkyDrive is built into Windows Phone, said to be its personal online storage, which you can access – along with photos and files saved – at SkyDrive.com, from any Internet-enabled device, and through the SkyDrive mobile app.

There is a link accessible through the email, which adds 20GB to a SkyDrive account, with it appearing as a ‘Enthusiast bonus’, in the storage limit.

This isn’t as generous as the 200GB that has been given away with a Microsoft Surface 2 or Surface 2 Pro tablet, but it is still a nice little Christmas gift.

However, it does need to be taken up, before the 31st of January 2014 (just in case you missed the missive, during the festive season).

Omio Mobile Phone News Weekly Newsletter – 16th December – 20th December 2013

The week began with Omio, reporting that Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 OS leaked, where Apple’s iOS 7.1 is to have a built-in car feature. Sony’s Xperia Z1 and Sony Xperia Z Ultra saw Android 4.3, rolled out. Samsung’s Galaxy Core Advance was announced, with 4.7-inch screen and dedicated hardware buttons. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is launching MWC 2014, with QHD screen and Iris scanner, and Windows Phone 8.1 is to have notification centre and Microsoft’s own Siri.

Earlier on in the week, Nokia cancels Android plans and Illusionist tablet, where Nokia Camera app came to all Lumia mobile phones. Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store now has 200,000 apps, and Samsung Smartphone GamePad for mobiles, is coming to the UK. The EE network is to allow 4G roaming, for American travellers.

Midweek, the LG G Flex ‘flexible’ mobile phone came to 4G EE. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 in pink, came exclusively to Phones 4u, and Windows Phone 8.1 screen shot leaked, showing lock screen notifications. Amazon’s mobile phone is arriving before end of June, 2014.

Towards the end of the week, HTC One gold version drops £2,750 price tag – where it became available for £29 a month. Sky Go became available for Windows Phone 8, and mobile phones can now be used during take-off and landing, on flights in the UK. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are to get KitKat, in January. A Samsung AMOLED 10.5-inch tablet is being announced at CES, and the Nokia ‘Moneypenny’ mobile phone is to be called Nokia Lumia 630/635

At the end of the week, Motorola’s Moto G Android KitKat rolled out – in the USA only; UK, still on track for January. The Nokia Lumia 1020 and Nokia Lumia 925 ‘Lumia Black’ update rolled out, and the HTC One mini is to get Android 4.3 and HTC Sense 5.5, in the UK. BlackBerry’s is switching to Apple iPhone maker, and Samsung releasing four new tablets – Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and Galaxy Tab 3 Lite.

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The biggest story of the week came from Nokia, where it has reportedly scrapped its supposedly named Nokia Lumia 2020 Windows RT tablet, along with its plans for using the Android OS.

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The next most significant piece was when Samsung saw more info leaked about its purportedly named Samsung Galaxy S5, including display resolution, features and its announcement date.

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The third largest news item came from British Airways, in removing the restrictions of no electronic device powered on, at the start, and end of flights.

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The following most significant story was Microsoft seeing some more details appear online, of its rumoured Windows Phone 8.1 mobile operating system  – following on from the news of the on-screen touch button article.

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The fifth biggest piece was when 4G EE network and umbrella company, revealed that UK consumers will be able to try out the LG G Flex, flexible, handset in select stores – from the 20th of December, ahead of its release, next year.

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The next most significant news came from Apple seeing aspects of its next mobile device operating system appear online, said to enhance its existing products.

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The seventh largest story was Samsung having another source confirm that its two lead, flagship, Samsung mobile phones are getting the latest Android 4.4 KitKat operating system – next month.

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The following most significant item came from Amazon seeing some details outed about the supposed Amazon handset, including arrival date and parts.

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The penultimate piece of news was when Nokia supposedly saw details emerge of a new phone, in its actual product name and number: the Nokia Lumia 630/635.

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Lastly, 4G EE mobile phone network has unveiled it is allowing USA network AT&T customers to use its UK network, with 4G mobile broadband speeds.

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Sky Go comes to Windows Phone 8 – now available

* UPDATED *

Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia has unveiled the Sky Go application will be available for all its Nokia Lumia devices, from mid-December.

This is currently, only in Italy.

Omio has contacted Nokia UK, in regards to this coming to our shores – where we have received the following response:

“We are working closely with the Sky team in several other countries to ensure the app will be available to Lumia consumers around the world“

Sky UK has said to us – “We will continue to monitor the marketplace and should we see an uptake by our customers of Windows phones [we] will explore support”

The Windows Phone Sky Go app, allows users to view 30 pay-TV channels, on the go.

It is set to extend Sky Italia 1.9 million possibly subscriber user base, already using iOS and Android  platforms.

“Sky Go on the Windows Phone 8 platform is a world exclusive for Italy and a true Christmas present for our customers,” said Paola Cavallero, General Manager, Nokia Italia.

Remo Tebaldi, Customer & Product Marketing Manager Sky, commented, “We are pleased with this important agreement thanks to which Sky Go for the first time in the world will be making its debut on Nokia Lumia smartphones and the Windows Phone 8 platform,”

UPDATE:

The Sky Go app has now been released in the Windows Phone app repository, notes Windows Phone Central.

This is only in Italy, where Sky UK has now said to us - “Should we see a significant proportion who have Windows Phones we will look to add support” – fingers crossed, it’s coming to the UK soon.

Windows Phone 8.1 screen shot leaks, showing lock screen notifications

Seattle based software developer Microsoft has apparently seen an image appear online of the next version of Windows Phone, noted to be 8.1.

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This is supposedly of the lock screen settings, said to be coming to the OS.

Our lead image shows quick access, customisable settings, can be enabled.

It is also thought that notifications can be turned on, and off, for individual apps.

This won’t affect the Live tile functionality, states WMPoweruser.

Also mentioned are banner notifications, although it isn’t sure what this functionality is.

That title has been sent the shot by an anonymous tipster, of a feature that is thought to be one of the platform’s biggest features.

Others are believed to be the drop down, quick access settings’ menu.

There is also noted to be a Siri-esque personal assistant, said to operate a similar way to Google Now.

The update is rumoured to be first aired at a Microsoft conference, in April.

It is then presumably, coming to handsets, soon after that.

We have already written about Nokia planning phones, featuring this version of the operating system.

Speculation has it, these go under the codenames of Nokia Moneypenny and Nokia Goldfinger.

Microsoft Windows Phone Store now has 200,000 apps

Seattle based software developer Microsoft has taken to its blogs, with an update to Windows Phone.

It has stated that it is already seeing 12 million transactions a day, during this holiday season.

This is along with noting the Windows Phone Store has surpassed the 200,000 application mark.

That figure stood at just 100,000, in July this year.

It took eight months to reach that milestone, where the next 100,000 took six months.

In March, that number was only 50,000, but it was still early days back then – since Windows Phone 8 first launched.

That was the end of October 2012, with a number of handsets being made available from the likes of Nokia, Samsung and HTC.

Nokia has to be thanked for this success, with the greatest number of WP8 run devices on the market.

Microsoft also gave an update on the reach of the Windows Phone Store, where it is now available in 190 different markets around the world.

This is along with hitting a major milestone of carrier billing, with 51 networks – across 31 markets.

Also, trial apps are downloaded 70 times more often than others, with a typical 5-10 per cent conversion rate – resulting in 3-6 times more revenue, than paid apps (without trial capability).

Via: phoneArena

Windows Phone 8.1 to have notification centre and Microsoft’s own Siri

Seattle based software developer Microsoft has seen some more details appear online, of its rumoured Windows Phone 8.1 mobile operating system  – following on from today’s on-screen touch button article.

This info comes from sources familiar with Microsofts’ plans, which notes the company is internally testing beta copies of the OS.

The notification centre is said to be accessible by a long swipe, from the top of the screen downwards.

A shorter swipe, is noted to expose ‘quick settings’ – offering easy access to the commonly used functions, in the same way as Android.

This has been reported by The Verge, which has it that Nokia is already working to include these in two upcoming mobile phones.

The first, is allegedly going under the name of Goldfinger.

That is cited to include a ’3D touch’ system, detecting off-the-glass integration.

This could be in the same way as Samsung’s Air Gesture, where you can operate the handset – without touching the screen.

The next mobile, quoted to go under the codename ‘Moneypenny’, will take advantage of the on-screen buttons that we covered today.

Microsoft is also believed to be including its possibly codenamed ‘Cortana’, in 8.1.

That is thought to be its own Sir-esque personal assistant, mentioned to replace the existing Bing search.

The title is told it is similar to Google Now and Siri, with conversational interaction.

Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 OS leaks

Seattle based software developer Microsoft has allegedly seen a screen shot leak of the next version of its Windows Phone 8 OS, supposedly codenamed Windows Phone Blue.

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The above image has been posted by the renowned mobile phone leaker, @evleaks.

It was accompanied with the text: “Partial Windows Phone “Blue” screenshot.”

The pic, apparently, shows on-screen buttons, for the next iteration of Windows Phone.

Currently, Windows Phone, only supports off-screen buttons – for its navigation, menu and search features.

Those are located just beneath the screen, in a space solely occupied by the above.

Placing them, logically, within the screen’s real estate, could make a Windows Phone more compact.

This is where the handset manufacturer could employ a smaller bezel, around the display.

That, in turn, could make for a smaller mobile phone, with the screen being housed in a smaller chassis – getting towards the form factor of the Apple iPhone, rather than the Nokia Lumia 900.

Android has been using this concept for some time, which we first saw it back in 2009.

Slowly, mobile phone makers have included the design within their own devices, where it is now, more or less a standard feature.

The Verge notes that Windows Phone 8.1, is expected to be aired at Microsoft BUILD 2014 conference next year, in April.