Microsoft is officially replacing its Nokia branding with Microsoft Lumia on the company’s Windows Phones. The software giant is “looking forward to unveiling a Microsoft Lumia device soon,” and, Nokia’s existing phone websites and social network accounts will now be transitioned over to the Microsoft Lumia branding in the coming days. Microsoft has also revealed that it will use the company’s name on the front and rear of future Lumia devices in a simple replacement of the Nokia branding.
While Lumia phones will drop the Nokia brand entirely, Microsoft still has a 10-year license to use the Nokia brand on basic phones. “Microsoft will continue to sell Nokia-branded, entry-level category of phones, such as the Nokia 130,” explains Tuula Rytilä, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Phones at Microsoft. “We have licensed the Nokia brand for such devices.” It’s not clear how many of these types of devices Microsoft will continue to focus on. Microsoft is killing off the majority of Nokia’s feature phones in favor of Windows Phone, with only the very basic mobile phones still likely to be produced in future
Truecaller, which allows smartphone owners to see who is calling them, has been available for Windows Phone owners for some time. Today, a new update for the app has been released specifically for Windows Phone 8.1 users that adds real-time Caller ID features.
Truecaller claims they have the first Windows Phone app that provides live Caller ID features. It states, “Now, when Truecaller users are using a 3G or WiFi connection, live Caller ID will identify numbers from all over the world, even if it is beyond what is written in the user’s contact books. Not only will Truecaller show the names of incoming calls that are not in your phonebook, but it will also notify you if one of those calls is a spam call reported by the 85-million user Truecaller Community.”
“We linked up with Microsoft to bring a unique and special partnership providing Truecaller live Caller ID for our Truecaller Lumia users who have upgraded to the latest Windows Phone 8.1. Truecaller is the first app to bring a live Caller ID functionality to the Windows Phone 8 platform. Now, when Truecaller users are using a 3G or WiFi connection, live Caller ID will identify numbers from all over the world, even if it is beyond what is written in the user’s contact books.”
“We are very happy to be able to support Truecaller in bringing this great functionality globally to Windows Phone for the first time. Our partnership goes back several years and we have seen that Truecaller is a very dedicated company focused on delivering a great service for its users.”
Say’s Mikael Stendahl, Head of Partner & Developer Relations at Microsoft.
Truecaller worked in partnership with Microsoft to add this new feature in their app.
Windows Phone Lumia users who update the Truecaller app to the new 4.2 version by October 30 will also get 30 days of free Premium access.
Please note that it does require Windows Phone 8.1 to work, and it may be just for Lumia devices as it also needs the Network+ update.
Project Spark is an experience like no other that aims to democratize game making by giving everyone easy-to-use tools to create, play and share their own creations with others. You can instantly play tens of thousands of user-made games, remix a pre-made game, or hop right in and make your own game with tools including 3D sculpting and a visual programming language similar to what the pros use, made accessible to all.
Project Spark is free-to-play and is available for download now via the Xbox One and Windows 8.1 stores. Add-on content can be unlocked by using in-game credits earned during play, or by purchasing tokens to buy add-ons immediately. Fans will see a host of new content available on launch day including sci-fi skin, adventure mode, champion features, creation enhancements, and multiplayer mode to inspire all new gameplay.
Keys to the Kingdom is an impeccably designed microsite that uses a choose-your-own-adventure format to relay the story of Project Spark’s development, and news about its most recent updates.
Newcomers can also pick up the $39.99 retail disc, which provides $85 in downloadable content. The package includes an adventure called Champion’s Quest: Void Storm, a sci-fi theme pack, a playable champion, a builder’s pack expansion, and a month’s subscription to Spark Premium.
It’s a humbling and amazing thing to work on Windows, which is used by over 1.5 billion people in every country of the world. From kids playing with computers for the first time, to writers and journalists, to engineers, to gamers, to CEOs, at some point Windows has empowered all of us.
In the Windows team, we’re proud of this – but we also know that the world today is very different from the one in which Windows grew up. Today, devices outnumber people. Connectivity is like oxygen. The tension between the desire for agility versus stability poses a huge challenge for IT Pros. Experiences – no matter what device you’re on – just need to work. The only thing that hasn’t really changed is the situation for developers – still too much to do, and not enough time.
One way to look at it is that Windows is at a threshold :-). It’s time for a new Windows. This new Windows must be built from the ground-up for a mobile-first, cloud-first world. This new Windows must help our customers be productive in both their digital work and their digital life. This new Windows must empower people and organizations to do great things.
That new Windows is Windows 10.
Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows. Windows 10 unlocks new experiences for customers to work, play and connect. Windows 10 embodies what our customers (both consumers and enterprises) demand and what we will deliver.
We are excited to announce the Windows Insider Program, where PC experts and IT Pros can get access to a technical preview of Windows 10 for desktops and laptops. Soon after, we’ll also be releasing technical previews of Windows Server and our management tools.
With the Insider program, we’re inviting our most enthusiastic Windows customers to shape Windows 10 with us. We know they’re a vocal bunch – and we’re looking forward to hearing from them.
The Windows Insider Program is intended for PC experts and IT pros who are comfortable using pre-release software with variable quality. Insiders will receive a steady stream of early builds from us with the latest features we’re experimenting with.
I encourage everyone reading this to sign up for the Windows Insider Program, download the technical preview, and let me know what you think
Seattle: Microsoft will unveil a new name for its best-known product on Tuesday when it offers the first official glimpse of its latest Windows operating system.
September just continues to be a huge month for tech news: Not only are we seeing the launches of the iPhone 6, the Galaxy Note 4, the new Moto X and the BlackBerry Passport but we’re also going to get out first look at Windows 9 as well. Per Re/code, Microsoft has just sent out an invitation to media and analysts that invites them to “join us to hear about what’s next for Windows and the enterprise.” Given previous rumors, we can only assume this means that Microsoft will use this event to show off Windows 9 for the first time as well.
According to Re/code’s sources, Microsoft will be giving out early test code for developers and businesses so they can start their preparations for the shift to the new platform. Windows 9 is going to offer several key new features including the long-awaited return of the Start menu as well as the integration of Microsoft’s Cortana personal digital assistant, which has won praise so far from Windows Phone users.
The project, known for the past few years as “Threshold” inside the software company and “Windows 9” outside it, will likely get an entirely new brand, or just be called Windows, analysts said, ahead of its full release early next year.
The name change is symbolic of a new direction and style for Microsoft, which is veering away from an aggressive focus on Windows and PCs, the hallmark of previous Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer. The new, quieter emphasis is on selling services across all devices and is championed by new boss Satya Nadella.
“Windows 8 was not a shining moment for Microsoft,” said Michael Silver, an analyst at tech research firm Gartner. “Probably the biggest issue that lingers is the negative brand equity in the name.”
So let’s wait for Tuesday for the big moment for Microsoft. Proud for Microsoft.
Earlier yesterday, the Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 started trickling for users who are on Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers. As the Windows Phone team at Microsoft shared a few days ago, the latest update brings Cortana to China and UK in beta and to India, Australia, and Canada in India.
This early adopter program for the latter is opt-in, and gives people the option to try Cortana using English language models from the US and the UK. Let’s see how we can configure it for Windows Phone devices in these regions.
Steps to activate Cortana alpha version
Essentially, all you need to do is to change your speech settings to English US or UK. If any other permutation works, let us know in the comments.
If you’ve changed region or language settings previously to try out Cortana when it released for the US, revert to the original settings for your country. A restart maybe required if you change these settings. If you haven’t, confirm that the settings are in order.
Language: English (India)/English (Canada)/English (Australia)
If you’ve not made any changes before, you’d need to start here and just change your speech settings.
Speech: English (United Kingdom)/English (United States)/English (United Kingdom)
How do you know if it works? Tap the search button, and you’ll have Cortana greeting you rather than the vanilla Bing screen. The top right corner will inform you that it’s an alpha version, so things might be awry or some features may not be available. Microsoft would be learning from the user behavior to improve the experience as the product evolves.
You can turn Cortana off at any time. Open Cortana’s Notebook > Settings, turn Cortana Off , then restart your phone.
Blackberry rolls out BBM for Windows Phone, retains the native user experience and modern design of the Windows UI.
BlackBerry has now made its BlackBerry Messenger available for all users on the Windows phone platform. The messaging app is open to Windows Phone 8 and higher.Blackberry had unveiled BBM for Windows Phone last month, stating that the app was open for testing and user feedback. The Canadian handset maker added that the release focused more on Chats, Contacts and Feeds within the app, but will be adding more features in future updates. You can download BBM for Windows Phone from Windows Phone store.
It was teased at Build 2014 and is now finally available. Windows Phone 8.1 users can now download the Live Lock Screen BETA app to spruce up their Lock screens.
One of the coolest features that was shown off at Build 2014 for Windows Phone 8.1, besides Cortana, was the lock-screen app that allows you to change up the lock-screen animation on your phone. Today, we are happy to report that the app is finally available for download.
The app will give Windows Phone users one more layer of customization and truly make your device personal. Microsoft has always said that Windows Phone is the most personal device on the market, and this app is one more addition to prove their point.
You can download the app from the source link below, but know that the app is still in beta, so there may be a few bugs here and there. Additionally, users are reporting that the app is working on phones with 512MB of RAM even though Microsoft said that it would require 1 GB of RAM.
If you do download the app, let us know your experience with it. For us, we are noticing a slight delay between the unlock and getting access to our start screen. Hopefully this delay will be worked-out once the app leaves the beta stage.
From the app’s description:
“Want to truly personalize your lock screen? Live lock screen app lets you choose from 6 new lock screen layouts to add a distinctive touch to your Windows Phone. Each layout has a revamped design for the time, date, and notifications, as well as a unique unlock animation. You can also cycle through multiple background images throughout the day to keep your lock screen fresh—or just get the latest incredible image from Bing every morning.”
During the Microsoft Build 2014 conference in May, one of the hidden features of Windows Phone 8.1 announced is the Lock screen app, made in partnership with developer Rudy Huyn. The secret project was kept at the highest levels as many on the Windows Phone team were even unaware of its existence. The question though for many is When can we have it?
Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore took to Twitter today to alleviate concerns. The Lock screen app (yes, it is a separate download, not built into the OS) is evidently nearing completion, at least far enough along to earn beta status.
From Belfiore’s Tweet:
“Lockscreen app- sorry for being quiet. The beta (English, 1gb+) is ALMOST here, perhaps a week. We hit a few snags &
added a feature.”
“New lock screen app– probably a couple weeks as beta for 1GB devices. A bunch of us are running it now, working on polish. dev-preview next” tweeted Blefiore.
Do you like these lock screens and what more do you expect in the app? Do let me know by posting your answers in the comments
Lumia 630 is the first Windows Phone 8.1-based smartphone and will be available from 16th May. The single-SIM variant will be launched later this month.
Nokia is on a roll and is already out with its new Windows Phone 8.1-based smartphone – the Nokia Lumia 630. After launching Nokia XL last week, the company has just announced the Lumia 630 in India
The Lumia 630 will be the first smartphone to feature Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. Nokia is planning to launch the dual-SIM version of the Lumia 630 on 16th May. The single SIM variant of the phone will be launched later this month.
The pricing of both the variants has also been announced. The single-SIM variant will cost Rs 10,500 while the dual-SIM version will be available for Rs 11,500.
Lumia 630 features a 4.5-inch display with FWVGA (854×480) resolution, a 5MP camera and 8GB of internal storage which is expandable via a memory card slot. It will feature 512MB of RAM. The smartphone is powered by a Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor running at 1.2GHz. The battery capacity of the phone is 1830mAh. The display features Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection with Lumia color profile and wide viewing angles. Nokia has used its ClearBlack display technology on Lumia 630’s display which is an IPS LCD screen.
The all-new Lumia 630 will have the latest Windows Phone features like the Cortana search assistant and the Universal Windows apps. India is among the first few countries where the smartphone has been announced.