This week the most powerful camera phone on the planet - so to speak - has recieved a software update from Microsoft. The Nokia Lumia 1020 with its beastly back-facing camera will be rolling with Lumia Black, the newest in Nokia-based Windows Phone software - as soon as this afternoon for users across the United States. The firmware piece of this equation appears - for now - to be hitting the Lumia 1520.
Microsoft's video-selling kingdom has arrived in Xbox form for their mobile devices in the Windows Phone 8 Xbox Video app. This app takes on all the abilities of the Xbox One's Xbox Video app, delivering you access to your account on the go. This app allows you to both buy and watch videos on your smartphone, adding these videos to your account that you can then watch on your Xbox One as well.
Windows Phone 8.1 will gain a Siri-style virtual personal assistant in an update expected in the first half of 2014, sources claim, with the new version also said to bring the much-anticipated notification center. Currently being internally tested though not expected to be publicly detailed until BUILD 2014 in April, The Verge reports, the update will supposedly see Bing search replaced with Microsoft's "Cortana" digital assistant, details of which leaked earlier this year.
There's a little bit of a shift going on at Instagram, one that makes the person-to-person exchange a real deal. This update is called "Instagram Direct", and it's essentially a messaging service inside the photo-taking social network. This update is coming to iOS today in Instagram 5.0, Android's Instagram 5.0 today as well - the Windows Phone version is still classified as being in beta mode, so we'll be waiting a bit longer on that front.
After an approval at the hands of the United States Department of Justice, the Microsoft acquisition of Nokia's hardware and services departments has been given the thumbs-up by European Union antitrust regulators. This is the last large approval the companies needed before they moved forward with the acquisition - they'll now be free to roll out the merge at full speed.
There are a mighty number of hurdles a set of companies must go over before they join forces and become one in the United States, especially when they're such titans as Microsoft and Nokia. What's been approved today by the folks at the United States Department of Justice is the pending acquisition of Nokia's mobile devices and services business by Microsoft.
This week the Windows 8.1 (formerly known as "Blue") software update continues to roll out as it has for the past several weeks, making way for the same sort of push for Windows Phone devices this spring. What's just appearing this week for news on the generation after this one is the likes of "Threshold", a system that'll further combine the powers of the Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox One software environments. This update series, as it were, will be delivered in the spring of 2015.
It would appear that the first appearance of the Nokia Lumia 520 as the most common smartphone in use across the world earlier this year was not just a fluke. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Instead we're seeing this device continue to grow in popularity, quite likely because of its relative low cost and common smartphone abilities - not to mention the fact that it comes in a variety of fabulous colors.
Having already released GTA III and GTA Vice City, the folks at Rockstar Games have announced this week that they'll be bringing on the likes of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to Android this December. This release will be the biggest and the best in this sort of genre for the Android, iOS, or Windows Phone 8 platform without a doubt, coming in after two successful cross-platform releases in the past couple of years. This version of the game will be released in a similar fashion to the previous games, with nearly as much excellence as the full-sized console-level games as they appeared originally.