Introduced for Windows Phone 8 was Kids Corner, an answer to the age old problem of what you do when your small children say "Daddy (or Mummy), can we play games on your phone please?" The issue, of course, is stopping the little darlings from accidentally getting into other applications, deleting data, calling your boss and buying stuff they didn't mean to. Kids Corner can in fact help with all of this, but there are a few things you need to know before you start playing with the idea. Really.
I've handled a broad strokes comparison of the two 41 megapixel camera flagships of the smartphone world before, notably here (when I declared them roughly equal in merit though with very different processing pros/cons) and here (as part of a four way test, but with very similar conclusions), but what I wanted to do here was to push them both to the limits in real world low light situations. Would the benefits of Optical Image Stabilisation outweigh that of a larger sensor? Would a BSI sensor compensate for a smaller Xenon flash? Is the hardware oversampling engine from the Nokia 808 missed on the Lumia 1020?
Following Microsoft breaking open the cheque book to buy out Nokia's handset business, I discussed the impact this would have on HTC. Now it's time to turn our focus to the third of the Microsoft's major partners and look at the impact on Samsung. And while it might not change the volume of handsets, I think Samsung is going to be sticking with Windows Phone for a little longer.
Without wishing to imply that Nokia Pro Camera isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread (it is), it's not my default 'photos+camera' application on the Nokia Lumia 1020, 925 and 920. On purpose. In fact, risking a roasting from commenters, my default camera application is Nokia's 'gimmicky' Smart Cam, which works far better for my particular use case, as I hope to explain below.
Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's Devices and Services branch has many implications for the Windows Phone ecosystem. Some will be evident in short order, others may take months or years to show up. But of immediate concern is what Microsoft's other partners will do. HTC, not in the best financial position, already had some hard decisions to make about the direction of the company. Now the Windows Phone ecosystem has tilted, HTC needs to think very carefully about what happens next.
Anyone with a Windows Phone will know most of the saga to do with the YouTube client on Windows Phone. The service is, of course, owned by Microsoft's big rival, Google and, not surprisingly, the latter is being a stickler for detail in terms of the former's client obeying the letter of the law when it comes to displaying and downloading (or, rather, not downloading) video content. And adverts. The row has dragged on and spanned multiple client versions and, at the time of writing this, it's still broken. But in truth, is a client needed at all?
Today's news that Microsoft has entered into an agreement to buy Nokia's Devices & Services business is generating a great deal of debate and a range of responses. Ultimately, the key question is why? The simple answer? As with almost all acquisitions, it is all about the financial figures and the long term strategy of both companies involved in the transaction. However, the timing has been driven by the Nokia Board of Directors, and the upcoming 2014 recommitment date that dates to the original February 2011 agreement between the two companies.
The thinking goes something like this. As an entity, Microsoft calls Stephen Elop into a smokey room, asks him to leave the company to become CEO of Nokia, stop all the Finnish OS developments and switch the company to Windows Phone. Elop will then proceed to make a decent (but not profitable) line of handsets, drive the stock price down, and allow Microsoft to buy Nokia. At which point Elop will be brought back into the bosom of the Redmond family to be handsomely rewarded. Really? Really!?! Lets come back to the real world shall we?
Microsoft recently started rolling out the second software update for Windows Phone 8 in the form of the GDR2 software update, but rumours about what's in the third software update, GDR3, have been around since the spring. In this feature, we round up the rumours that have surfaced so far, including details of what is likely to be one of the first GDR3 devices, the six inch screened, "phablet" sized, Nokia Bandit/Lumia 1520.
When Microsoft previewed Windows Phone 8, one of the promises it made was that existing apps would work on the new platform and, with a handful of reasonable exceptions, that promise was kept, an impressive achievement given the underlying changes in the platform. However, the reverse is not always true, as some Windows Phone 8 apps will not run on Windows Phone 7.x devices. This feature takes a look at the stats behind this Windows Phone platform app compatibility.