Microsoft will push new build of Windows 10 mobile to phones this Friday (list here)

windows-10-for-phones-video-demoMicrosoft’s Gabe Aul was a guest today on the Twit network’s Windows Weekly podcast, and during the show he has confirmed that the next build of Windows 10 mobile preview for Windows Phone will be pushed out this Friday at 10AM PT (1PM ET).

Microsoft posted a list of Lumia devices set to receive the update, and although pretty much every handset made the cut, the absence of the Lumia Icon and 930 was a little concerning. Today, Gabe Aul has just confirmed that this release of the Windows 10 mobile preview will indeed not make its way to the Lumia Icon/930 but the rest of the Lumia device on the list will receive it.

This release is set to bring in some new features and apps to the OS and Microsoft will soon have a blog post ready detailing the changes in this new build.

See the full list of devices set to receive the update

Source: Windows Weekly

 

Best Buy offers a free Lumia 635 with Xbox One Halo: TMCC bundle for only $349.99

Nokia-Lumia-635-PhoneHero_InvariantCulture_DefaultBest Buy is offering a pretty incredible deal this week which is hard to pass up. As of now, you can purchase a 500GB Xbox One bundled with Halo: The Master Chief Collection and a no-contract Lumia 635 tied to AT&T for only $349.99. You can of course unlock the device if you choose to use it with another carrier.

Just the Xbox One deal with Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a fantastic deal, but a free Lumia 635 is like a cherry on top. Even if you’re planning on sticking around with your existing smartphone, having a spare Lumia 635 is a great MP3 player replacement and can even be used a standalone offline turn-by-turn GPS thanks to the Here maps app.

It’s a fantastic budget smartphone on it own with a 4.5 inch display and is running Windows Phone 8.1 and will be updated to Windows 10 later this year.best buy lumia 635To use this promotion, simply go to this Best Buy page and follow the instructions and add the Xbox One bundle and the Lumia 635 to your cart. You’ll notice that it will be priced at $0.00 when you check out and shipping will be free on both items.

Source/Image credit: Neowin

Microsoft targets a massive list of Lumias to run the next build of Windows 10 for phones

windows-10-for-phones-video-demoWhen Microsoft released the Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones last month, the list of devices that were able to run this build were abysmal, and making many enthusiast upset. However, the build wasn’t too stable anyways, so it may have been for the best as installing it on newer and more expensive devices could have proven to be an unpleasant experience.

According to a post by Gabe Aul, Microsoft is ready to roll out the Windows 10 Technical Preview on a vast amount of Lumia devices. We still don’t have a release date on when this build will be available, but we expect it to be soon. Below is the list of the devices set to receive this update, and that’s of course for Windows Insiders only.

We still highly recommend that for those of you planning on installing this build on your Lumia device, that you install it on a secondary handset, as it will most likely not be ideal to run on a handset you rely on.

Here’s the list below. It’s also worth mentioning that this list could change depending on how Microsoft feels about the stability of the Windows 10 preview for each device.

Lumia 1020
Lumia 1320
Lumia 1520
Lumia 520
Lumia 525
Lumia 526
Lumia 530
Lumia 530 Dual Sim
Lumia 535
Lumia 620
Lumia 625
Lumia 630
Lumia 630 Dual Sim
Lumia 635
Lumia 636
Lumia 638
Lumia 720
Lumia 730
Lumia 730 Dual SIM
Lumia 735
Lumia 810
Lumia 820
Lumia 822
Lumia 830
Lumia 920
Lumia 925
Lumia 928
Lumia ICON
Microsoft Lumia 430
Microsoft Lumia 435
Microsoft Lumia 435 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 435 Dual SIM DTV
Microsoft Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 532 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 640 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM

Source: Microsoft

 

Windows 10 for phones will support NFC payments similar to Apple Pay

windows-10-for-phones-video-demoDuring the WinHEC 2015 conference in China, Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 for Phones will get a wireless payment NFC-enabled system that will work similar to how Apple Pay does.

This will be achieved with a technology called Host Card Emulation (HCE).  HCE allows for the transmission of payment related information from a device to an NFC-enabled terminal designed for the recital of wireless payments.  HCE is currently available on Android 4.4 KitKat and above, and Microsoft wants to ensure that its mobile users also have this capability.  In a slide presented below, Microsoft lists Visa, MasterCard and AMEX as payment solutions.

windows phone nfc paymentsThis type of payment solution is about to become much more widely used in the near future, and perhaps the main reason is due to the fact that Apple has entered this market with Apple Pay. During Apple’s “Spring Forward” event, the Cupertino giant announced that over 700,000 locations will support Apple Pay, which in turn will benefit Android users, and users running Windows 10 on their smartphones as retailers finally embrace this technology.

Microsoft’s Build 2015 conference will surely be the most exciting one to watch, and we expect that the firm will fully unveil the curtains on mobile payments and Windows 10 phones.

Source: Channel 9

Microsoft officially releases developer tools for the Windows 10 Technical Preview

windows-10-family1Microsoft has just released the developer tools (SDK) for the Windows 10 Technical Preview for Windows Insiders. As of today, developers can start building Universal Windows 10 apps.

This is the first version of the SDK and it will continually be updated as the development of Windows 10 continues towards RTM.  Here are the key aspects in this preview release.

  • Adaptive UX: Windows 10 provides the ability to use a single UI that can adapt from small to large screens. For developers with an existing Windows 8.1 app, you can quickly try this one out by (a) removing one of your UI projects (and going from three Visual Studio projects to one!) and (b) add the improved ViewStateManager to control how your UI adapts at runtime.
  • User controls: A number of our Windows 10 UI controls will determine, at runtime, how the customer is interacting with your app and render the appropriate user experience (e.g. on a laptop with a touch-screen, an app fly-out control will provide larger touch-targets if tapped with touch, as opposed to clicked with a mouse).
  • API contracts: With Windows 10, you can directly verify if a Windows feature is available rather than inferring based on the operating system version. This empowers you to start checking, at runtime, if a Windows feature is available on the device before you call a related API. A good API contract for you to try out in your code to see this in action is HardwareButtons, which is present on phones (via the Mobile Extensions SDK), and thus available on the phone and mobile emulator but not available on the desktop. We believe that API contracts and the extension SDKs will allow you to adapt your code at runtime to deliver user experiences that feel right on the device it’s being run on.
  • Visual Studio Tooling improvements: As you experiment with the new developer tools, there are a number of improvements you’ll want to check out. For more details on this topic, I’d highly recommend you review the today’s post by S. Somasegar: Tools for Windows 10 Technical Preview.

This is a critical step for Microsoft as it gives developers the ability to target the entire Windows ecosystem of devices with Universal apps. This is vital in order to ensure that the Windows App Store thrives and effectively competes with iOS and Android in the future.

For more information regarding this release, check out the Windows Blog

Download: Tools for Windows 10 Technical Preview or ISO

Download: Visual Studio CTP6

 

Chase has dropped support for their Windows Phone banking app

chase-bank-discontinueBack in January, the large US bank announced they are removing their app from the Windows Phone store, however, the company said the app’s current users would still be able to use the app “until further notice”.

Well, it appears that today is the day many thought wouldn’t really come. J.P. Morgan Chase has officially discontinued supporting their Windows Phone banking app.

Those who try to use the app will now be greeted with a message that as of today the Windows Phone app is no longer supported. The notice also encourages users to visit http://m.chase.com mobile web site in order to use Chase’s banking services on the go. Chase also notes that QuickDeposit option is not available through their mobile web site and that clients wishing to deposit their checks should do so at their local ATM or branch.

To add insult to injury, some Windows Phone users have reported there are “identification code” issues with the Chase mobile web site and they had to log in through the bank’s desktop web site. Bank of America, who also recently dropped support for Windows Phone, has been having similar mobile web site issues as Chase.

This is certainly not good news for Microsoft as having major US banks on board is crucial for the mobile platform’s growth. We hope with the release of Windows 10 this summer it will encourage Chase, BofA and other big banks to reconsider their stance on Windows Phone as developing and maintaining one Universal app for all Windows-based devices will make a lot more sense.

Via: WindowsCentral, Screenshot via WindowsCentral

Microsoft plans to significantly speed up the update process on Windows Phone with "Project Milkyway"

windows-phone-8_1-update1During the WinHec conference today Microsoft unveiled its plans to make updates delivered to its phones at a much faster pace with “Project Milkyway”.

Currently, updating Windows Phones is a very slow process, and in many cases it can take months for devices to get updated, and with Project Milkyway Microsoft plans to bring the wait down to 4-6 weeks of release.

project milkyway1 project milkyway2In the slide above, Microsoft outlines the procedure on how this is set to happen, and it depicts various steps that would be taken to get new updates rolled out to Windows phones.  Some of these steps include several carrier-related approvals which makes things a little skeptical since they seem to be the ones slowing things down dramatically, but at least Microsoft has a plan which makes things encouraging.

Source: Channel 9 via Windows Central (images by Windows Central)

Microsoft to enable phones running Windows 10 to connect to peripherals, USB mass storage & Xbox Controllers

usb windows phone1There has been a lot of speculation as to what Windows 10 for phones will offer in terms of productivity as this is a very important mantra for Microsoft. This is something that can really push the platform’s adoption in business, and the software giant has officially unveiled something rather intriguing.

During WinHEC today in China, Microsoft talked up how Windows 10 on mobile devices would interact with USB.  The software giant added support for the new USB type-C standard on Windows 10 for phones, and although it’s much smaller than its type-A counterpart, it offers more power and function.

usb windows phone2 usb windows phone3OEMs building phones running Windows 10 will be able to implement the USB Type-C and enable many device class drivers. Microsoft mentioned USB serial devices, USB Bluetooth and Generic USB Host Drivers, but USB driver installation by the user will not be supported.

This provides many interesting scenarios with Windows 10 for phones, as users will be able to connect many different devices to the phone as shown in the photo above, and even an Xbox controller and an external display.  This falls in line with a previous rumor of the new flagship Lumia having the capability for docking, but this part was left out in discussions with vendors.  However, Microsoft could still provide something comparable with the features mentioned.

Source: Channel 9 via Windows Central

You can now add MP3s and many more file types to OneDrive for streaming

xbox-musicIt has been a long time in the making, but OneDrive music streaming is finally ready to go. As of now, you will be able to store all of your local MP3s on OneDrive. This will allow you to stream music with Xbox Music app on any of your Windows devices running on Windows 8.1.

This feature will support MP3, M4A (AAC), and WMA file types. In addition, you will not need to have an Xbox Music pass to use this feature, but for those who do own one, Microsoft will honor them with 100GB free of OneDrive storage.

It’s worth noting that even though Xbox Music is available for iOS, Android and Windows 8, the streaming features are not available to these OSs. It’s also worth noting that Apple charges $24.95 for a similar service, so this is definitely an advantage to the Microsoft side.

There will be a limit of how many songs one can store, and that limit is set a 50,000. This service is available in the US, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

 

Windows 10 will be released this summer

windows 10 family1Microsoft is really focused on delivering Windows 10 as early as possible, and in recent blog post, head of Microsoft’s operating system team Terry Myerson revealed that Windows 10 has a planned summer release.

The exact time-frame is not outlined, but Myerson did go on to say that Microsoft’s new flagship OS will be available in 190 countries and 111 languages on release.

Microsoft wants to make a big splash with Windows 10 and intends to get everyone on board as it’s offering the OS for free for those upgrading from Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1 and even from pirated copies of Windows 7.

This time-frame aligns with an RTM version of the OS to be complete in June and it should be perfect timing for Microsoft to unveil the Surface Pro 4 and possibly a flagship Windows 10 phone.

Source: Microsoft