For a long time it looked like Microsoft had forgotten that it owned Skype, but the VoIP and video call service is finally being capitalized on with the new Nokia Lumia 735 and Lumia 730. Billed as ideal for Skype and selfies, the Windows Phone 8.1 pair slot in at the more affordable end of the Lumia range, with 5-megapixel front-facing cameras and a Lumia Selfie app.
The change is now! Microsoft has begun changing the names of Nokia apps in their Lumia smartphones to ones more suitable for their slightly less Nokia-branded universe. While we don’t expect a press release on the subject, we will see a whole lot more Microsoft before the week is through.
Nokia's HERE mapping app is coming to iPhone and all Android devices, a native app to take on Google Maps and Apple Maps as the Finnish firm refocuses on software and services. The HERE Maps app follows a deal with Samsung to put the navigation system onto Tizen-powered smartwatches, complete with offline maps and turn-by-turn instructions for driving, walking, and public transportation, even when you don't have a data connection.
Microsot's IFA 2014 event is just a day away, so naturally we are still getting last minute leaks and rumors about devices. The other day, it was the "selfie" Lumia 730 but now it's the Lumia 830's turn. While this supposed actual device does seem to confirm its PureView heritage, it does disprove earlier rumors of a more Microsoft-friendly branding.
Never tested in snow or heavy rain, potentially ignoring police, and confused into swerving by crumpled newspaper: Google's self-driving cars face more than a few lingering problems before they're truly ready for the road. The search behemoth's plans to start tests of its control-free "pods" out in public had already collided with California's DMV, which demanded that at least rudimentary steering and pedals be fitted before they'd be road-legal, but that may only be the start of Google's headaches.
The second generation at Rovio (developers of Angry Birds) has begun. Their first CEO, Mikael Hed, has stepped down, making way for former Nokia exec Pekka Rantala to take over starting in January. Mikael Hed is the fellow that’s been the face of Rovio since Angry Birds first took off, founding the company, reminding gamers and citizens to "pop pigs" whenever he had the chance. Now with profits taking a bit of a dive, Rovio is in for a change.
This week AT&T Mobility has switched CEOs. What does this mean for you, the consumer? It means you’ll see some new plans enacted, some restructuring of the way AT&T does business, and maybe even a new face for the public eye.
You might have had your fill about Android devices or smartwatches scheduled to debut at IFA 2014 next week, but Microsoft may have a few things to reveal there as well. One of these might be the Lumia 830, earlier leaked to be the first "Microsoft Mobile" branded smartphone, which has just passed by the Anatel certification, Brazil's counterpart to the US' FCC.
Microsoft is washing its hands of developing the browser for affordable ex-Nokia phones, cutting a deal with Opera that will make Opera Mini the default route for web access. New Series 30+, Series 40, and Asha handsets will all come with Opera Mini preinstalled, while existing users will be prodded to ditch the existing Xpress browser and switch over if they want the most up-to-date software.