Check out these leaked screenshots of Windows 10 Technical Preview for Phones

Many Windows Phone users are anxiously awaiting the preview release of Windows 10 for phones which Microsoft promised will come this month to Windows Insider program participants. Earlier, we have reported that up to one thousand Microsoft employees were being asked last week to do one final round of internal beta testing before the build is pushed outside of the company’s walls. Indeed, it looks like Microsoft is on track to release mobile OS in preview mode very soon.

So far we have seen one demo of the new mobile platform at the company’s Windows 10 press event last month in Redmond and we’re impressed with what we saw.

Today, however, we have been delighted to a small treat before the real thing becomes available – leaked screenshots of the OS (build 8.15.12493.42) have now surfaced and they appear to be the real deal. Perhaps one of Microsoft’s employees involved in internal testing decided to tease us with the early view of what we can expect later this month.

The screenshots, as you can see above, show some of the key improvements to the Settings and Action Center on the Windows Phone. Settings seem to be better organized as related options are grouped together and the Action center will allow users to add more than one row of custom buttons. The last screenshot shows the update and build info along with Seattle Seahawks Russel Wilson’s quote “Every setback has a major comeback.”

Not all Windows Phones will be eligible to receive the first Windows 10 dev preview

Manager of Windows Insider program, Gabriel Aul tweeted something that Windows Phone users don’t like to hear, which is that not all Windows Phones will be eligible to upgrade to the first consumer release of the Windows 10 Developer Preview for phones.

Now before you panic, keep in mind that there are a ton of different Windows Phones out there not just from Microsoft/Nokia, but from other OEMs. He did however say that at least one 512MB device will be eligible, at least for now.We’re expecting that Lumia devices will most likely be the first on the list since they represent 95% of all Windows Phones out there, but nothing is certain. We’re also pretty confident that the mid and high-end devices are first on Microsoft’s list for eligibility.

Cortana now predicts Barclays Premier League derby results; picks Liverpool to beat Everton

Cortana has gained a lot of popularity and world-wide attention when she correctly predicted 15 out of 16 matches in last year’s World Cup final round of 16. Microsoft’s personal assistant on Windows Phone also pegged the The New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XLIX, which they did against the Seattle Seahawks this past Sunday.

The Windows Phone and Bing teams at Microsoft continue to delight us with Cortana’s capabilities. Cortana is now capable of predicting upcoming Premier League matches as the two major Premiership derbies are kicking off this weekend.

Cortana’s future-seeing abilities are based on Bing’s prediction engine which uses cloud processing and machine learning as it takes into account many factors in real-time. Some of the key factors that Bing and Cortana use to create these predictions includ trending related search terms, player and team statistic, player injuries, home-field advantage, the weather and many many more.

As for the upcoming football matches, Cortana has picked Liverpool to beat Everton with Liverpool having 12.5% higher chances to win. Additionally, according to Microsoft, “Cortana has also predicted that Arsène Wenger’s resurgent Arsenal will continue their dominance over Tottenham in the North London derby this weekend, with a 13.1% greater chance of victory.”

You can keep track of all of the current and upcoming Premier League derby predictions simply by asking Cortana questions such as:

– Predict (insert team name) match

– Who will win the match between (insert team name) and (insert team name)?

– Will (insert team name) beat (insert team name)?

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft releases Windows 10 Tech preview for phones internally, kills rumors of Feb 4th public release

According to reports, Microsoft is presently rolling out the first wave of Windows 10 for phones internally to a select group of testers. This is a group of around one thousand Microsoft employees from various departments and the build made available to them is labeled “Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones (8.15.12492.41).”

Windows Insider program which is available to the public has been a huge success. Over 2 million testers world-wide have signed up for Windows 10 (desktop) Technical Preview and Microsoft has confirmed they’re working on making the Mobile version of their next OS available to the public to preview soon.

How soon is soon? Many folks have speculated the company will officially release the Windows 10 preview for phones on February 4th, but Microsoft’s Gabe Aul who heads the Insider program has killed that rumor today via Twitter. Here is what he had to say about that.

Source: Neowin@GabeAul

New photo reveals large vertical live tiles which could come to Windows 10 for phones

Something rather interesting was uncovered today regarding the potential design of Windows 10 for phones.  As it turns out, we may see a new tile size that’s vertical and double stacked.

This possibly new tile looks identical to a double-wide tile but in a vertical position and the clue comes from a photo which shows a Windows Phone showcasing using the tile which  belongs to a Microsoft employee by the name of Vesku Paananen who tweeted it and then quickly removed the tweet.

It wouldn’t be surprising for Microsoft to add this feature, being a logical evolution of the Windows Phone design language that would be particularly useful in larger screen devices.

A vertical tile could be very useful if it enabled up and down scrolling of information within an app, which would work great with Twitter.  It certainly doesn’t look like it enables any new features judging by the photo which just shows the people hub tile in the vertical position, but seeing previous footage of Microsoft experimenting on scrolling within live tiles makes us wonder if this is a sign of things to come.  For now it’s just wishful thinking.  We’ll know soon enough with the release of Windows 10 for phones.

Source: BestMobileBlog via Windows Central

Rumour: Microsoft to release two Windows 10 based Lumia smartphones at MWC 2015

According to Chinese website WPDang, Microsoft is set to release a couple of Windows 10 based Lumia smartphones at MWC 2015, which  will be taking place in Barcelona on March 2 and run until the 5th of March.

The first two of the rumoured devices is a Lumia 1330, which is an inexpensive variant of the previous Windows Phone 8.1 flagship Lumia 1520.  However, according to recent rumoured specs of the device, the Lumia 1330 will be a significant u pgrade for its class over its predecessor, the Lumia 1320.

The second rumoured device is expected to be a striped down version of the Lumia 830.  This new variant of the so called “Affordable Flagship” will be even more affordable but will have a less capable PureView camera and have built-in storage capacity.

We are not so sure about these devices shipping with Windows 10, but we are confident that the hardware will indeed be a Lumia 1330 and a downgraded Lumia 830.  However, with Microsoft releasing the Windows 10 preview for phones in February for Windows Insiders, it’s quite possible that it may be ready to go shortly after.

For now we’ll treat this as a rumour only and keep an eye out for more information as we get closer to the release of the Windows 10 preview for phones.

Source: IBT via WPDang

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 CPU will power future flagship Microsoft Lumias

Qualcomm is the world’s leading mobile chip maker and today the company has announced they are expanding the use of their superior Snapdragon 810 CPU into more than 60 premium tier mobile devices. Through various partnerships with device makers, the new processor will roll out in the coming weeks and months.

The chipmaker has revealed that their new processor will power Android-based LG G Flex2, the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro as well as upcoming “best in class” Microsoft Lumia devices. As this is a premium tier chip, we expect to see it in upcoming flagship Lumias.

Microsoft’s GM Juha Kokkonen is excited about this great opportunity to bring one of the world’s fastest processors to Microsoft’s mobile devices:

“Microsoft and Qualcomm’s long standing collaboration has allowed the two companies to offer compelling business, imaging, and entertainment experiences with Lumia smartphones running on Windows Phone,” said Juha Kokkonen, general manager for portfolio and product management at Microsoft. “We look forward to continuing this relationship to deliver best in class Lumia smartphones, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processors, and offer an unprecedented combination of processing power, rich multimedia, high-performance graphics and wireless connectivity for our customers.”

Here is the full press release by Qualcomm Incorporated:

Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 Processor Powers Premium Tier Mobile Experiences of 2015

Superior connected mobile computing processor provides a foundation for global smartphone innovation in 2015

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), has a growing customer design pipeline in excess of 60 premium tier mobile devices based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810 processor. New devices based on Snapdragon 810 include the LG G Flex2 and the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro, with many more expected in the coming weeks and months.

“The LG Flex2 is designed to represent a new class of innovation at the premium tier with the dynamically curved design, a richer feature set and faster performance than the previous generation,” said Chris Yie, vice president, head of marketing communications at LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “With an advanced feature set and stunning multimedia support, the Snapdragon 810 provides us with a tremendous foundation to enable the most advanced mobile experiences for consumers.”

“Xiaomi prides itself on embracing the leading-edge of innovation for premium mobile devices,” said Lei Jun, Founder, chairman and chief executive officer, Xiaomi. “We make every effort to bring the newest and most innovative technology to our enthusiastic customers, drawing on the best in the industry. Our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies on the Snapdragon 810-powered Mi Note Pro provides us the ability to deliver more performance, features and user capabilities to a mobile device than ever before. This is what our customers want and what Xiaomi will deliver with the Snapdragon 810.”

“Motorola Mobility and Qualcomm have a long history of cooperating to create amazing mobile experiences,” said Rick Osterloh, president, Motorola Mobility. “The Snapdragon 810 processor will enable us to push the boundaries even further so we can continue delighting our customers with devices that give them new choices.”

“Whether it’s long-lasting battery life, watching the latest movies or enjoying music in Hi-Res Audio quality, our customers are increasingly demanding more from their Xperia device to deliver the latest content and entertainment experiences,” said Gen Tsuchikawa, senior vice president and chief strategy officer, Sony Mobile. “We’re excited about the new capabilities of the Snapdragon 810 processor and are looking forward to working with Qualcomm Technologies as we bring new Xperia products to consumers later this year.”

“OPPO is committed to delivering to our users the most delightful electronic experience, that is full of surprises through meticulous designs as well as smart technology,” said Sky Li, vice president of OPPO and managing director of International Mobile Business. “We’re excited to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies on our Snapdragon 810-based devices to drive new value in the premium tier for our customers in 2015.”

“Microsoft and Qualcomm’s long standing collaboration has allowed the two companies to offer compelling business, imaging, and entertainment experiences with Lumia smartphones running on Windows Phone,” said Juha Kokkonen, general manager for portfolio and product management at Microsoft. “We look forward to continuing this relationship to deliver best in class Lumia smartphones, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processors, and offer an unprecedented combination of processing power, rich multimedia, high-performance graphics and wireless connectivity for our customers.”

“The smartphone experience at the premium tier will be defined by products that don’t compromise on performance, connectivity and entertainment, and Snapdragon 810 will be at the heart of enabling these features,” said Murthy Renduchintala, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and co-president, QCT. “With a growing design pipeline currently in excess of 60 devices, we’re excited about the innovation our OEM customers will unlock for consumers who demand superior mobile experiences in 2015.”

For premium mobile experiences, Snapdragon 810 processors are designed to enable a new class of performance, connectivity and entertainment never before seen in the premium smartphone tier, including support of the following capabilities for consumers, OEM device makers and operators:

Consumer Capabilities:

– Fast LTE connectivity: based on a next generation integrated LTE Advanced modem with Cat 9 support for speeds of up to 450 Mbps

– Enhanced image quality and clarity: with high-performance dual 14-bit ISP that supports up to 55 megapixel camera capabilities

– Connecting to LTE: enabled by Qualcomm RF360™ Front End Solution Antenna Tuner which increases coverage, throughput and reduces dropped calls

– Console quality gaming in up to 4K resolution: based on the new Qualcomm® Adreno™ 430 GPU with 30 percent more performance and 20 percent lower power than previous generation

– High-performance 64-bit processing: with quad core ARM A57 CPUs running up to 2.0Ghz and quad-core ARM A53s running up to 1.5Ghz

– Fast available Wi-Fi: supporting the new Qualcomm® VIVE™ dual-band, 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi with Qualcomm® MU | EFX (MU-MIMO) technology and the newest 60 GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi for proximal connections up to 5 Gbps

– Comprehensive 4K support: including 4K video recording with playback on device and to external display, utilizing leading color enhancement and power-saving technologies

– Professional quality audio: with support for the latest Dolby Atmos, and up to 24-bit/192kHz music playback using our Qualcomm® Hexagon™ V56 DSP

– Comprehensive LTE coverage: Broad support of LTE/3G modes and bands that support LTE speeds when roaming and fall back to 3G when LTE is not available

OEM benefits

– Single SKU design: Global multimode capability and Qualcomm RF360 front end supports lower OEM development costs, SKU and inventory management complexity and costs for global OEM products

– LTE reliability: tested extensively across major infrastructure and operator networks worldwide

– LTE power efficiency: supported by the maturity of our latest generation LTE Advanced modem and RF360 Envelope Tracker

– 4K multimedia: reliable third generation 4K platform with network and energy efficient HEVC encoding and new Adreno 430 GPU

– Support of all major global position location constellations: including GPS (USA), Glonass (Russia), Beidou (China), and Galileo (EU) LTE DSDA Multi-Sim: supports integrated, single baseband LTE Dual-SIM / dual Active functionality

Operator benefits

– Superior user experience at the cell edge: 3x Carrier Aggregation (3x CA) designed to deliver better consumer experiences throughout a carrier’s network

– Broad use of operators’ spectrum assets: support for major cellular modes, including LTE-FDD and LTE-TDD and all 3GPP-approved CA combinations to support an improved combination of coverage and capacity benefits

– Support for new carrier features anticipated in 2015: including LTE-Broadcast, VoLTE and Video Telephony with seamless Wi-Fi handover.

– Wi-Fi for offload of cellular network traffic: Quality handover of voice and data services between LTE and 802.11ac with MU-MIMO

Via: Windows Central

Microsoft finds a hit with the Lumia 535 as low end reigns supreme

Each month, we look at the numbers from the company Ad Duplex. For those that don’t know, Ad Duplex claims to be the top advertising platform for Windows Phone and Windows 8. This month, we don’t see any new devices, but there are many interesting tidbits to look at here. Let’s get to it!

Lumia 520 still reign supreme, but 630/5 is catching getting close. Low end rules the market.

  • For a long time, the Lumia 520 will go down as one of the best selling Windows Phones of all time. It’s logical successor, the Lumia 630/5, is catching up quickly with a combined market share of 12.6%, which is a little over half of the Lumia 520’s 23.8%. The Lumia 530 is also catching up with a 4.2% share, which is kind of sad, because that phone is a pretty terrible user experience with only 4GB of storage.

Microsoft’s chunk of the pie gets even bigger, Other makes some small gains

  • It’s hard to be an OEM on Windows Phone when Microsoft has such great support of the platform. This month, Microsoft’s large chunk of the market gets even bigger at 95.6%. “Other” sees gains of .08%, which is about a 33% gain, so relatively speaking, that’s ok. It will be interesting to see which one breaks out of the other category first.
  • It should be pointed out that this is, of course, all relative. Microsoft just revealed that they’ve sold almost 11 million Lumias in the past quarter, whereas many of these OEMs take years to sell that. Yezz, for example, may have ¼ of their sales be Windows Phones, but for a company with as big of a reach as Microsoft, it’s hard to compete.

Windows Phone reaches iOS levels of upgradability

  • According to Ad Duplex, Windows Phone 8.1 is installed on 62.6% of devices. That’s very good compared to Android, which less than 1% are on the latest update, and pretty close to iOS 8, which is on roughly 65% of iPhones.

T-Mobile takes back its lost market share from Cricket

  • Over the past few months, we’ve been noting how Cricket (subsidiary of AT&T) has been slowly catching up with T-Mobile. They even passed them last month. This month, however, T-Mobile has taken the second place crown back from Cricket. Since T-Mobile’s support for Windows Phone has been weak, it makes you wonder how this happened.

Microsoft has a sleeper hit on its hands with the Lumia 535… in India

  • When Microsoft acquired the D&S division of Nokia, many Nokia fans scoffed at the idea of buying Lumia phones with the word Microsoft on them. They stated that nobody would buy the phones and that they only bought these phones because they were made by Nokia….. and they were very wrong.
  • Microsoft has a hit on its hands with the Lumia 535. To recap, the Lumia 535 is an entry level phone with a qHD (540p) display, a Snapdragon 200 processor, and a 5-inch screen that retails for around $150. This device has garnered a 9.1% market share, making it one of the fastest selling Windows Phone devices. We’re calling it here folks: the Lumia 535 will pass the Lumia 520 in market share within a few months. Microsoft is going to have another hit on its hands. Now if they could only spread availability.

What did you think of this month’s report? Were you surprised by how well the Lumia 535 has done? Were you hoping for new phones? Let us know in the comments.

Tetra Lockscreen for Windows Phone updated with local Weather info & bug fixes

Microsoft Garage’s experimental project Tetra Lockscreen app which is available for Windows Phone 8.1 users in the U.S. has picked up its first major update since launching late last year.

This update bring local weather data including the 3-day forecast as well as an easy way to check weather for other locations through MSN Weather. The update also adds ability to apply daily rotating background images from Bing Maps and some bug fixes.

This is the full list of changes included in Tetra Lockscreen v1.2:

Weather BETA
– Displays local weather information
– 3 day forecast
– Click the city name to access MSN Weather

Bing Map background
– Select Bing Map and press apply for a daily rotating image

Minor bug fixes
– 4 appointments visible on calendar
– Crash on 930 when switching between calendar and map
– This version does not contain loading speed improvements (wip)

Click here to download or update Tetra Lockscreen for Windows Phone