Redstone 3 Could Be the Last Update for Windows 10 Mobile

#Windows10Mobile #WindowsMobile – Redstone 3 Could Be the Last Update for Windows 10 Mobile : A new report that’s making the rounds lately, and which cannot be verified right now because it points to early Microsoft plans for its phone platform, indicates that Redstone 3 could be the last update for Windows 10 Mobile.

There’s a lot of speculation right now, and this is why it’s very important to take everything with a pinch of salt for the time being, but Spanish website OneWindows writes that Microsoft is currently discussing several changes aimed at its mobile platform that would make Redstone 3 the last major update for Windows 10 Mobile.

While at first glance this could sound like the end of Microsoft’s smartphone platform, there are a few other details that seem to point to a change of strategy rather than to a complete demise of mobile.

Windows 10 Mobile support

First and foremost, what we know for sure is that Windows 10 Mobile will still receive support until at least October 2018. According to Microsoft’s own data, Windows 10 Mobile build 10586 (also known as Threshold 2) will receive updates until January 9, 2018, while build 14393 (Redstone 1) will reach end of support until October 9, 2018.

With the Creators Update also landing on mobile devices, Windows 10 Mobile should be safe until at least early 2019, but specifics will be announced by Microsoft after the launch of the OS. Redstone 3 would obviously extend support for Windows 10 Mobile, but again, no details are available.

If the aforementioned report is accurate, then Redstone 3 would be specifically focused on improving the UI, performance, Continuum, Cortana, and other new features, but what’s yet not clear is who exactly is going to get all these features. Microsoft released Windows 10 Mobile only for half of its Windows phones, and it’s clearly too early to tell whether everyone on Windows 10 will get Redstone 3 as well.

What’s next?

So if Redstone 3 is indeed the last major update for Windows 10 Mobile, does this mean that Microsoft is done with phones? Not necessarily, as Microsoft could pursue other opportunities, including Windows 10 on ARM.

This implementation makes it possible for Microsoft to run full Windows 10 on ARM chips, and it’s believed that the company’s upcoming Surface Phone, if it really exists, could make full use of this technology. As a result, Surface Phone could unleash the full power of Windows 10 when connected to an external display with Continuum.

Windows 10 Cloud, a recently discovered SKU of Windows 10 and limited to UWP apps, could also play a role in Microsoft’s mobile strategy, but for the moment, it’s all about guessing and it doesn’t make sense since we don’t know for sure if this report is true or not.

But in the end, although Windows 10 Mobile might reach its end in the coming users, this doesn’t mean that Microsoft is leaving phones. For what it’s worth, it just seems to be a change of strategy and nothing more.

Source : Softpedia

Surface Phone 2017 Release, Rumors: Windows Phone Doomed To Fail Even With Cool Specs?

#SurfacePhone2017 #WindowsPhone – Surface Phone 2017 Release, Rumors: Windows Phone Doomed To Fail Even With Cool Specs? : Microsoft is designing the “ultimate phone” called the Surface Phone. Previous rumors speculated that the phone will have top of the line specs that could compete with the other mainstream brands. However, with all this information at hand, it seems like at the end of the day, the handset will still not be that successful as Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy series.

Based on previous reports, the upcoming phone will boast a ClearBlack AMOLED display. Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 will support the handset and will have up to 6GB of RAM. In terms of its shooters, it will feature a 20 megapixel rear camera with a Carl Zeiss lens. Its front cam, on the other hand, is 8MP.

Aside from these specs, the handset is also rumored to have a unique fingerprint scanner. Market Exclusive reported that the company already filed a patent for a fingerprint built into the screen. With regard to its audio jack, it will be the regular 3.5mm placed at the bottom alongside a Type-C USB port.

Lastly, consumers should expect three variants for the handset. There will be a consumer model, a business model, and an enthusiast model. All of them will have different prices starting from $699 up to $1,100. It is quite reasonable given the the specs of the phone are indeed top of the line.

Now, these features certainly suggest that the Surface Phone could actually be the next big thing in the smartphone industry. However, there are some who doubt this possibility mainly because it is made by Microsoft. Although it will as well boast Windows 10 under its hood, some still believe that the handset will not be successful.

Why Surface Phone Will Be Doomed

According to Learnbonds, the biggest problem is the fact that it is a Windows phone. For the past years, the phone series had a really difficult time satisfying its users. It has some traits that Blackberry had, which is the main reason why the latter fall off its prime. Even the publication’s readers share that same sentiments about the phone, particularly with regards to some apps.

One of their readers revealed that after upgrading to Windows 10, the Windows phone started experiencing problems. The apps used for financial or banking transactions have a poorly-designed version compare to the same app for Android or iOS. This particular case alone somehow indicates that if Surface Phone will still have the same problems as its predecessors, customers will definitely switch to Apple or Samsung.

Source : Thebitbag

BBC iPlayer is dropping Windows Phone support

#BBCiPlayer #WindowsPhone – BBC iPlayer is dropping Windows Phone support : If you’re a Windows Phone user, there’s another kick in the teeth today as the BBC has announced it’s dropping support for the platform from April this year.

A specific date for when the service will stop hasn’t been announced, but the BBC has no intention of offering an alternative app for the platform.

Instead it encourages you to update to Windows 10 Mobile and watch BBC content through the Edge browser.

Downloading programs to your phone won’t be possible through Edge, so you’ll need to just grab it on the go and stream it directly to your Windows Phone device.

No more Poldark

The BBC said in a statement, “When the BBC iPlayer app was originally created it was not technically possible to playback BBC programmes via the browser.

“As it’s now possible to playback via the browser it’s no longer cost effective for the BBC to maintain a BBC iPlayer app for Windows mobile devices.”

Back in May last year, it was revealed Windows Phone’s market share dropped below 1%. With an install base so low, most companies don’t find it financially viable to create and support apps for the platform.

The BBC has never developed a BBC News app for Windows Phone, and considering Microsoft’s platform is missing apps such as Snapchat, Tinder and even Gmail it’s a difficult sell to get people on board.

Source : techradar

Norway Giving Up on Windows Phone for Android Due to Lack of Devices

#WindowsPhone #WindowsMobile – Norway Giving Up on Windows Phone for Android Due to Lack of Devices : Authorities in Norway are getting ready to abandon Windows Phone for Android because of a very simple reason: the existing models available on the market do not meet their requirements, so jumping ship seems to be the only option.

A report from local site Digi.no (via MSPU) reveals that 100 Norway municipalities which are currently using Windows phones for healthcare are planning the transition to Android and working with their partners to develop software solutions to run on this platform.

Many of these departments decided to use Windows phones thanks to their security, but now that they need to change devices because they’re outdated, the available options simply do not meet their requirements. Some are too expensive, and the low-end models are too underpowered, so moving to Android is their only alternative.

“Now it starts to get hard to get hold of Windows Phones. Microsoft has sold mobile their division, and there is little availability of handsets in the market,” sales manager Snorre Johansen of Tieto, a company that provides medical solutions to Norway authorities, was quoted as saying.

Microsoft not really keen on keeping customers on its platform

Surprisingly, Norway officials have already contacted Microsoft to discuss the transition to new devices, but the Redmond-based software giant has shown a somewhat lack of interest in keeping customers on the platform.

“We have an ongoing dialogue with Microsoft. They are trying to reassure the market that 3-4 producers have plans to create Windows-based smartphones,” Johansen said.

“Our customers use the phone as a tool in home care. It is then in your pocket with everything they need equipment for wound care and so on. It provides, among other wear and devices do not last as long. Our customers usually buys Windows Phones to around 1,500 to 2,000 krone ($170 to $240).”

The decision to make the switch to Android is not yet final, and the existing Windows phones are still under evaluation, but it’s hard to believe that Norwegian municipalities would remain on Windows 10 Mobile for too long.

At the same time, officials are also discussing with software companies about building Android alternatives to their solutions, so it might after all be just a matter of time until the transition is complete.

Source : Softpedia

Will Pokemon Go Ever Be Released for Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile Users?

#PokemonGo #WindowsPhone – Will Pokemon Go Ever Be Released for Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile Users? : In July 2016, some countries around the world were treated to the delight that is Pokemon Go. It’s a game where creatures ranging from cute to kind of scary could be located, captured and trained as well as head into battle. It created quite the stir as well when Pokemon could be caught in places that deserve respect like Holocaust memorials. Despite it being quite the phenomenon, the game was only released on two platforms: iOS and Android. Although only six months into release, will the game ever reach users of Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile?

That question is rather difficult to answer given there hasn’t been official word from the maker of the game. There have been updates, sure, but no news regarding additional platforms Pokemon Go could be played in. That said, there is an alternative in PoGo-UWP which is the closest thing to Pokemon Go that Windows Phone users might get. However, installing the app is not straightforward and needs a bit of technical knowledge. The question is: are users willing to go for that to get something similar to Pokemon Go?

To answer that question, let’s look at how the app can be installed. First of all, the app is not listed in the Windows Store. That’s a drawback as apps are meant to be no-fuss items and it not being available where apps are usually downloaded is a sign that users will have to struggle a bit to get this app running.

So where is the app available? Users can download it on GitHub, a version control repository and internet hosting service. The installation process involves copying a file then installing it using the file manager on your phone.

Although not overly complicated, it’s not also convenient. Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile users shouldn’t despair as well as they can sympathize with gamers in China as the game won’t be released there.

Source : Neurogadget

Apple’s Borrowing a Windows Phone Feature Trying to Make It Revolutionary

#Apple #WindowsPhone – Apple’s Borrowing a Windows Phone Feature Trying to Make It Revolutionary : One of the features that could make their way to the next-generation iPhone is biometric authentication, which should help Apple follow in the footsteps of other companies already offering such security features.

While Microsoft has more or less failed in the mobile business, the Redmond-based software giant still managed to innovate with some new technologies released on its phones, including the iris scanner feature that’s part of a feature known as Windows Hello.

Iris scanning became available on Windows phone with the release of the Lumia 950 XL back in October 2015 and at that point, Microsoft expected it to become the pioneer of the Windows Phone comeback. The platform, however, failed to gain ground, but Windows Hello still remains an innovative technology that was later implemented on other flagships, including Samsung’s own Galaxy Note 7.

And now, it appears that Apple is trying to introduce a new technology on the iPhone that would use the iris scanning tech first rolled out by Microsoft as the foundation.

Rumor has it that Apple wants to use the iris scanner as a starting point for a more advanced biometric authentication technology that would scan the entire face to grant access to the device, rather than just the iris.

Apple already tested the iris scanner

We’re being told that Apple originally wanted to launch the iPhone with a typical iris scanning feature, but given the fact that it was too similar to the existing implementations, the company then decided to go one step further and offer a full-face recognition system.

Furthermore, it appears that Apple itself didn’t consider the traditional iris scanner to be hackerproof, with some internal research showing that expanding the system to the entire face provides better security. Apple is also said to be working on making the iPhone hackerproof following the San Bernardino scandal.

And even though the new iPhone feature would scan the entire face, it would still include sensors analyzing the iris, but also other elements, such as the shape of the nose and the mouth. If all of these match the profile configured in the iPhone, the user is provided with access to the device.

For the moment, it’s not exactly clear when Apple is planning to introduce the new face recognition system, and there’s a small chance to see it going live on the next-generation iPhone coming this fall.

So there you go, Microsoft launched the iris scanner on modern phones and Apple seems to be ready to push it further. Now’s your turn, Microsoft, so you better make that Surface Phone truly revolutionary.

Source : Softpedia

Long Live Windows Phone: Microsoft Starts Selling Unlocked IDOL 4S

#WindowsPhone #IDOL4S – Long Live Windows Phone: Microsoft Starts Selling Unlocked IDOL 4S : Microsoft remains completely tight-lipped on everything regarding the future of the Lumia brand, but in the meantime, the company keeps supporting partners planning to launch devices running Windows 10 Mobile and thus contributing to expanding the ecosystem.

Alcatel is one of the companies that believe in Windows 10 Mobile, and the firm recently launched the IDOL 4S with Windows, a device that we already reviewed and which comes with flagship specs.

After several months of exclusive availability with T-Mobile branding, the new Alcatel IDOL 4S is now up for grabs unlocked and straight from the Microsoft Store.

The phone is available for $479 in the Microsoft Store, but the unlocked version continues to be exclusive to North America. There’s still no word on plans to bring it to Europe in the coming months.

Windows 10 Mobile, the perfect choice

While you can read everything about the phone in our Alcatel IDOL 4S review, let’s spend some time looking into something that officials of TCL, Alcatel’s parent company, say in a statement.

“Windows 10 Mobile offers one of the most unique and feature-rich user experiences available on a smartphone today, and by combining these elements with the design, performance and VR experience found in IDOL 4S, we’re able to offer end users something unmatched in the market today,” said Steve Cistulli, President and General Manager for TCL Communication (TCT), North America.

“Bringing IDOL 4S with Windows 10 to the Microsoft Store ensures that virtually every Windows 10 Mobile fan can enjoy this unique and powerful smartphone experience.”

Judging from these words, Windows 10 Mobile is one of the best mobile operating systems on the market, but it’s no secret that the platform still struggles to remain relevant in a world dominated by Android and iOS.

Right now, market research firms put Windows 10 Mobile at less than 1 percent share, while Android leads the charts with more than 80 percent. iOS is the runner-up with some 15 percent market share.

Source : Softpedia

Windows 10 Mobile build 14998 rolls out to Fast ring – but you probably shouldn't install it

#WindowsMobile #Windows10Mobile – Windows 10 Mobile build 14998 rolls out to Fast ring – but you probably shouldn’t install it : It’s been over a month since Microsoft released a new Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview for its upcoming Creators Update. The last Fast ring preview for phones, build 14977, rolled out on December 1, but while builds 14986 and 15002 have since been made available to PCs, Mobile users have been impatiently awaiting the arrival of a new preview for their devices.

Unexpectedly, Windows 10 Mobile build 14998 began making its way to users a few hours ago – but all is not as it seems. The update appeared on Fast ring handsets, but didn’t clearly identify itself as a new Mobile build, referring only to a ‘Localization for English’ update.

It appears that the rollout of build 14998 was unintentional, particularly as Microsoft has made no announcements regarding the release. Given that Insider Previews tend to come with various known issues that users need to be aware of before installing them, the absence of any release notes is a strong indicator that the build 14998 rollout was not deliberate.

Installing updates not intended for general release is a risky business, as Microsoft carefully optimizes its public OS delivery systems to transition from each approved build to the next. As we’ve seen in the past, particularly when users have installed builds that have leaked online, installing builds that fall outside of its general release program can result in problems with migrating to newer official releases.

As Windows Central’s Zac Bowden noted, some users have already reported serious issues with their devices after installing build 14998 today, so if you’re not prepared to deal with the risk of such problems on your handset – and the prospect of potentially having to wipe/recover your device to install future builds – it’s probably best that you avoid installing the so-called ‘Localization for English’ update today.

Source: Windows Central

Microsoft’s Windows Phones No Longer Available in US Online Store

#WindowsPhones #USOnlineStore – Microsoft’s Windows Phones No Longer Available in US Online Store : Microsoft’s Lumia phones are no longer available in the US online store, as all devices are now listed as out of stock in absolutely all configurations and colors.

And while this could make some believe that they are super-successful, seeing all models becoming unavailable in Microsoft stores makes many people wonder if this is actually the end of the Lumia brand, as Redmond has been rumored to be planning on killing off the whole series of phones for a long time.

Specifically, Microsoft was reportedly aiming at shutting down the Lumia brand in order to concentrate on just one model presumably to launch as the Surface Phone.

An announcement in this regard was expected to be released in December, but Microsoft might have decided to hold it back a little bit longer in order to sell as many phones as possible in the remaining time – it’s a well-known fact that the holiday season typically generates increased sales, so Microsoft probably wanted to use this increasing shopping appetite in stores across the world to sell more Lumias.

The end of the Lumia brand

People with knowledge of the matter revealed earlier this year that Microsoft was planning on keeping its Windows phones available for purchase as long as stock was still available, but never to offer more units up for grabs once the inventory was cleared out.

This is what seems to be happening in the US online store, where no Lumia can be purchased right now, and all models are listed as out of stock. Of course, there is no comment from Microsoft on this, so it’s hard to tell whether the company still wants to sell more Lumias in the online store or not.

While third parties still might have some Lumias left in their inventories, Microsoft no longer selling the device in its home market could be a sign that the end of the brand is indeed near. Of course, without an official announcement from Microsoft, it’s better to just take everything as a rumor for the time being, even though all signs seem to point to the demise of the Lumia.

Source : softpedia

Taking A Look At The Best Windows Phones Of 2016

#WindowsPhone #WindowsMobile – Taking A Look At The Best Windows Phones Of 2016 : As the year about to close its doors, we take a look at the best Windows phones of 2016. By far, the Windows phones that landed on our list are Microsoft Lumia 950 and Microsoft Lumia 950 XL. Both have stunning features that satisfy the average Windows faithful.

The Microsoft Lumia 950, according to Tech Radar, makes you feel that it is not your average smartphone. It has an iris-scanning technology which is actually an innovative unlock method and that makes it one of the best Windows phones of 2016. The Continum is also a new feature that allows the user to scale the software to TV proportions and it will feel like it is a personal computer. It has a weight of 150g and a dimension of 145 x 73.2 x 8.25 mm.

One of the best Windows phones of 2016 turns into Windows 10 mobile but there is not enough apps to fill up the home screen. It gives users the awesome experience of scrolling up and down the “Start Screen” though. The Continuum feature is one of its best-selling points as it allows you to connect to a monitor or TV so you have a larger screen to work with. Its Microsoft Display Dock connects up to USB-C support which enables you to just plug in the Lumia 950 and your phone’s screen will pop up in the big screen right in front of you.

The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL, according to GSM Arena, has a 20 MP camera on the back with Carl Zeiss optics and triple-LED RGB flash. It has a removable Li-Ion 3340 mAh battery that can last up to a standy-by of 288 hours when on 2G and that puts in in the conversation for best Windows phones of 2016.

The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL deserves a mention as one of the best Windows phones of 2016 because of its active noise cancellation via dedicated mics. It is also a dual sim phone.

Check out this video reviewing the Microsoft Lumia 950, tackling all of its pros and cons:

Source : universityherald