Windows Phone 8

Microsoft Band 2 coming with “a few killer devices” for Lumia

Microsoft Band 2 coming with “a few killer devices” for Lumia

This week the folks at Microsoft have been rather up-front about their plans to expand their mobile devices front. At Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference 2015, the company's COO Kevin Turner suggested that they were at work on a second version of Microsoft Band. He also suggested that they were working on "a few killer devices" for Lumia. For Windows Phone, that is to say, and the future of mobile devices from Microsoft that, earlier this month, seemed to be in question.

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Halo: Spartan Strike launches on multiple platforms

Halo: Spartan Strike launches on multiple platforms

Microsoft Studios is once again expanding its Halo franchise beyond genres and beyond platforms. It has just announced the launch of Halo: Spartan Strike, actually its second top-down shooter game that eschews the FPS conventions of the main titles. And also unlike the main titles, which are mostly confined to Xbox consoles, Spartan Strike is available for a whole lot more platforms and devices, including the iPad, the iPhone, Windows 8, Steam, and even Windows Phone. Curiously, there is still no sign of an Android port.

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Windows Phone TileArt: customization at last

Windows Phone TileArt: customization at last

This week the folks at Microsoft behind their own collection of Windows Phone apps have released a piece of software called "#TileArt". This app allows Windows Phone 8.1 users to customize their lock screen, create their own custom tile layout for their home screen, and share home screens with friends through various social networks. Similar features have been available for a while in limited form - now creativity is a bit more unleashed. Now if only we were able to do the same thing with Xbox One, that'd be fabulous.

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Microsoft confuses on Windows 10 phone upgrades

Microsoft confuses on Windows 10 phone upgrades

First came the good news: Windows 10 would be a free upgrade; now comes the small print, that not everybody is going to be eligible. After Microsoft surprised Windows fans earlier this week with the promise that not only would those running Windows 8 get an upgrade to the latest OS, but those on Windows 7 too, some of the goodwill sheen has been rubbed off after first Windows RT users and now some Lumia Windows Phone owners have been left uncertain whether they'll ever get Windows 10 on their devices.

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Twitter for Windows Phone lets Cortana in on tweeting

Twitter for Windows Phone lets Cortana in on tweeting

The official Twitter for Windows Phone app has been updated, adding Cortana integration for tweeting by voice, and improving how links browsed on your phone can be shared socially. The latest version, for Windows Phone 8.1 devices only, now allows users to tell Cortana - Microsoft's virtual personal assistant, aka Siri for Windows Phone - to fire out a 140 character message without having to tap it in themselves. It's a welcome improvement, though it remains to be seen whether Windows Phone fans, jaded by the ongoing token saga crippling third-party Twitter clients, will warm to the software.

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Spotify’s Windows Phone app finally got a revamp

Spotify’s Windows Phone app finally got a revamp

Spotify has rolled out a long-awaited update for Windows Phone, revamping its color scheme with a darker theme and cleaner graphics, not to mention finally porting over some of the exploring features iOS and Android users have been enjoying. The new Spotify Windows Phone 8 app, available today, adds Browse and Your Music, in an attempt to not only help listeners cut their way through the millions of tracks on offer, but to integrate their own favorites into their streaming playlists. They're not exactly new features, however, coming to Microsoft's smartphone OS long after its counterparts on iOS and Android.

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Lumia 435 and 532 revealed to take on the lower-end

Lumia 435 and 532 revealed to take on the lower-end

This week Microsoft have announced two new Lumia devices for the lowest end of the Windows Phone market. The Microsoft Lumia 435 and the Microsoft Lumia 532 are being called "the most affordable Lumia devices to date" by the company, working with Windows Phone 8.1 and introducing the 400 series to the Windows Phone environment. The Lumia 532 builds on the specifications and delivery of the Lumia 530 - that being the device that replaced the Lumia 520, the most successful Windows Phone device to date.

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Nokia Lumia 520 is now a $29 smartphone with no contract

Nokia Lumia 520 is now a $29 smartphone with no contract

Microsoft has a smartphone called the Nokia Lumia 520, one that they now have available to buy for $29. This is the Nokia Lumia 520, a device that we've reviewed more than once - once as the 520 and another time as the T-Mobile version (basically the same device) as the 521. Back then, it was cheap. Now it's staggeringly cheap. This device has a 5-megapixel camera at its back, 8GB of storage inside, and a 4-inch display. There's also a micro-SD card slot inside for if you'd like to expand your storage further.

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Microsoft shuns Apple for “bigger” Siri in iPhone 6 Plus

Microsoft shuns Apple for “bigger” Siri in iPhone 6 Plus

The Lumia 830 is up to bat this week in a video spot created by Microsoft to hate on the iPhone 6 Plus. This Lumia smartphone takes on the slightly larger iPhone 6 Plus by speaking with Cortana. The screens have been simulated, of course, and the sequences have been shortened - and the voices have been modified so they'll say what fits the commercial. But still, there's comedy to be found here in a war of the personal assistants, one for Windows Phone 8, the other for iOS.

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Windows Phone Fatboy Lamp team-up shows smart notifications

Windows Phone Fatboy Lamp team-up shows smart notifications

Back when Microsoft started bringing the heat with their Nokia tag-team for Windows Phone devices, we saw the light with Nokia's team-up with a brand called Fatboy. Nokia provided the smartphones, Fatboy provided the accessories that charged them up. Now Microsoft continues this collaboration, creating such oddities as this - Lumia phones showing you notifications to your phone through the Fatboy Edison Petit lamp. Light up every time you get a message while wirelessly charging your Lumia smartphone - because after all, why not?

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