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.
Developing apps that run across platforms is an area with a number of key players. One of those is the Unity middleware gaming engine. I wanted to find a bit more about the history of Unity and Windows Phone, so I caught up with Tony Garcia (Unity's Executive VP of Business Development), and his team at this week's Unite 2013 Conference in Vancouver.
Phone design is, as always, something of a compromise, with features often being axed for physical or economic reasons - after all, the phone which had everything would be heavy, bulky and expensive. So I can usually see behind the product announcements, into the minds of the design teams. But as a consumer, I have to make the same cold hard choices as everyone reading this feature. And, as sometimes happens, it seems that the older of two devices isn't necessarily inferior. Below, in this heavily updated article, following the release of the Nokia Amber update for the Lumia 920, I make the case for it against its more recent sibling/successor, the Lumia 925.
The mobile phone market is constantly in flux, and part of any manufacturer's strategy is what happens next with its handsets and its customers. Looking at Nokia's handset line-up of smartphones and feature phones, its next move could really benefit the Windows Phone ecosystem, as well as see it establish Microsoft's platform in the low-end market.
One of the key benefits of Google Now for Android is that it offers contextual information about you, where you are and where you've got to get to. OK, there's extra movie, and sport and flight stuff too, but that's all handled in Windows Phone with live tiles for the specific applications. What I wanted to show here though, was setting up a core of your Start screen to show much the same information as Android's famous Google Now system.
Most of the Windows Phone 8 stable of devices have been updated through the various versions of the OS, over the air, and with all content staying intact. But what, I wondered would be the experience of someone coming to Windows Phone 8 GDR2, with Nokia Amber, for the first time? In other words, what does a totally fresh install of this latest version of Windows Phone look like? Here's my walkthrough, with comments.
In the triumverate of major partners for Windows Phone (Nokia, HTC, and Samsung), HTC seem to be lost at sea. After a strong opening alongside Windows Phone 8, the Taiwanese company has slid under the radar, with little news or noise about their WP plans since October last year. With their share price dropping, is it time for a change in strategy from HTC to re-establish a presence in the Microsoft-based market?
With both the Nokia Lumia 920 and 925 now on Nokia Amber software, it was widely expected that camera results from the two devices would be largely similar, at least in terms of image processing. However, the algorithms used by Nokia do seem different, as you can see below in our interactive comparator. Images from the 925 should, in theory, be slightly sharper, according to Nokia, because of the extra lens element (6 pieces, remember), but in practice the 920's images are now quite a bit 'sharper', perhaps an attempt to compensate in software for the lack of the extra optical element? There's also the question of whether the Lumia 920 photos are now too sharp, of course. Comments welcome!
We all know how this works now. AMOLED screens have pixels which light themselves, enabling power-efficient always-on displays of time (and other notifications, depending on the OS), while LCD screens rely on a relatively power-hungry backlight, meaning that for anything to display at all in most light conditions, the backlight has to be on. Scotching the idea of an always-on display on LCD-equipped smartphones. But.... not so fast. For Nokia has waved its engineering wand and worked a veritable miracle.
With the Lumia 1020, Nokia created a smartphone with a hardware feature that has everyone talking. Not only does that create a buzz around the 1020 handset, but it also has a knock-on effect across the entire Lumia range - the so called "Halo Effect" of marketing, where a high-end device helps sells the rest of the range. The PureView-equipped Windows Phone isn't the first slice of technology to push a smartphone platform forward, but what comes next?