Windows Phone 8

BUILD 2014 day one: Cortana, Universal apps, Windows 8.1 Update

BUILD 2014 day one: Cortana, Universal apps, Windows 8.1 Update

Microsoft brought on well over two hours of content to the public this week on the first day of BUILD 2014, the company’s developer conference. Here we learned about Windows 8.1 Update, Windows Phone 8.1, and Universal Windows Apps. We also got our first glimpse of Microsoft’s natural language personal assistant, Cortana.

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Cortana hands-on: Windows Phone 8.1’s smart assistant

Cortana hands-on: Windows Phone 8.1’s smart assistant

The iPhone has Siri, Android has Google Now, and now Windows Phone has Cortana, Microsoft's new digital assistant for smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1. Launching as a beta when WP8.1 hits devices over the next few months, Cortana blends the speech-first approach of Apple's system with the contextual backbone of Google's, throwing in some location-based cleverness and a little AI snark along the way. We introduced ourselves at Build 2014.

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Nokia Lumia 635 detailed for T-Mobile and MetroPCS

Nokia Lumia 635 detailed for T-Mobile and MetroPCS

This week Stephen Elop himself stepped onstage at Microsoft’s BUILD 2014 conference to introduce the Nokia Lumia 630 and 635. The Nokia Lumia 635 is the 4G LTE-enabled version of the device, coming with Windows Phone 8.1, a 4.5-inch display, and what Elop described as "more operator support ... than any other Lumia device to-date."

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Nokia Lumia 630, 635 bring 4.5-inch display, dual-SIM

Nokia Lumia 630, 635 bring 4.5-inch display, dual-SIM

With the Nokia Lumia 630 and Nokia Lumia 635, the company is going for another release that’ll match their success with the Nokia Lumia 520. The Nokia Lumia 520 is, after all, the best-selling smartphone in its price range according to several studies as well as Nokia. Here with the Lumia 630 and 635, things get a bit bigger in all aspects.

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Windows Phone 8.1 release hits Lumia devices this summer

Windows Phone 8.1 release hits Lumia devices this summer

In an effort to make certain the owners of Nokia Lumia devices were overjoyed with their continued support of the Windows Phone ecosystem this week, Stephen Elop stepped onstage at BUILD 2014. There he suggested that "all Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices" will be getting Windows 8.1 over-the-air this summer.

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Universal Windows apps to tie Microsoft ecosystem together

Universal Windows apps to tie Microsoft ecosystem together

It would seem that Microsoft is aiming to become a much more integrated system this season with what they’re calling "universal Windows apps." Speaking for "a platform for today and tomorrow" this week at BUILD 2014, David Treadwell, CVP of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group made the case clear.

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Windows Phone 8.1 Wi-Fi Sense aims to douse mobile data

Windows Phone 8.1 Wi-Fi Sense aims to douse mobile data

There’s a new feature launching with Windows Phone 8.1 called Wi-Fi Sense. This feature has been put in place by Microsoft and detailed this week at BUILD 2014 to be a means of making your cellular data bill go down with Wi-Fi utilization.

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Cortana apps include Facebook, Twitter, Skype

Cortana apps include Facebook, Twitter, Skype

Starting off with a bang is what Microsoft needed to do with their own long-awaited personal assistant Cortana. This week they’re making a rather grand effort in doing so, connecting this natural language assistant work with Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and other apps right off the bat. Cortana has been revealed, as it were, at BUILD 2014, Microsoft’s developers convention.

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Cortana detailed as Microsoft’s natural language personal assistant

Cortana detailed as Microsoft’s natural language personal assistant

At BUILD 2014 Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore introduced the company’s reply to Apple’s Siri and Google’s latest voice search with Cortana. Cortana’s other name was introduced onstage too as Belfiore spoke to her: "hey Cortana, do you like your name?" Cortana replied, "Cortana, I love it — it's certainly more catchy than Microsoft Personal Assistant V1 2014."

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Windows Phone 8.1 Action Center gets slanted, Start Screen skinned

Windows Phone 8.1 Action Center gets slanted, Start Screen skinned

The first of a long line of updates to Windows Phone in Windows Phone 8.1 has been revealed today in the Action Center. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Windows Phone, this is also known as the "notification center" on other operating systems, and here it’s gone all slanty.

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Microsoft Build 2014 is here: What to expect

Microsoft Build 2014 is here: What to expect

Microsoft's Build 2014 opens tomorrow, April 2nd, a chance for new CEO Satya Nadella to not only convince developers and the industry that his "mobile first, cloud first" strategy makes sense, but that Microsoft has the skills to deliver on it. After impressing with the Office for iPad launch, Nadella has a far bigger audience to preach The Windows Way to at Build, though there are plenty of balls in the air that he still needs to keep moving.

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Nokia Lumia 630 leaked with Windows 8.1, dual-SIM, dual-standby

Nokia Lumia 630 leaked with Windows 8.1, dual-SIM, dual-standby

At this year’s Microsoft BUILD conference we’re likely to see the following device appear for the first time. Taking on many of the newest specifications outlined at MWC 2014 for Windows Phone devices, the Nokia Lumia 630 arrives with a 4.5-inch display with WVGA resolution and a quad-core Snapdragon 400 under the hood. This device will also appear with a chassis that’s thinner than the Lumia 920 while sitting at a height that’s essentially equal to the older phone.

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