Windows Phone 8 users now have a dedicated Facebook Messenger app rather than the old solutions of using the Facebook app or the Messaging Hub. The switch to a standalone app includes new support for stickers and photos, and lets users jump right to messages rather than rely on the app. More importantly, it makes it easier to distribute updates when new features are added. It's far easier to issue app updates than it is to issue firmware updates when the messaging client is updated. Redundancies are created in notifications, so users will need to turn off message notifications in Facebook and Windows Phone if they were previously enabled.
One of the marquee features from Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 is the rumored voice search assistant, Cortana, which is expected to have some the context-aware features that make Google Now so attractive.
Windows Phone fandom hasn't been very kind to Verizon in the past. Nokia and Verizon must have realized a change was necessary because the companies opted not to name its latest Windows Phone, the Lumia Icon, with the same naming conventions.It's a fitting switch, because this isn't a by the numbers smartphone.
BlackBerry Messenger will complete its cross-platform hat trick and arrive on Windows Phone at an undisclosed date later this year. Having already made the jump to Android and iOS last year, BBM will support the Windows Phone platform in the summer. That's a very long time to wait, especially considering the continued growth of WhatsApp and the impending launch of Facebook Messenger. BBM will face even stiffer competition when it launches later this year, but the app's spread to Android and iOS has lead to millions of new users.
Microsoft might do the unthinkable - make it possible for Android apps to run on its Windows Phone operating. Is this a good strategy or the first step toward Microsoft admitting defeat in the smartphone world?
Nokia and Verizon today jointly announced the Nokia Lumia Icon. It's a phone that takes the mantle of the Lumia 928, from a design perspective. We know that the Lumia Icon will go on sale February 20 for $199.99 when purchased with a two-year agreement, but else do we know about the device?
Nokia helped address some of the Windows Phone shortcomings when it released the Lumia Black update for its phones, but Microsoft will take its turn to address the finer details in a series of improvements to Windows Phone as a whole.
More people are able to listen to the recently-launched Beats Music streaming service today. Part of the reason is that Beats Music this week launched on Windows Phone for the first time, and another reason is that the US-only streaming service is usable outside of the US if you're willing to game the system.
In what may be the final financial period as an independent phone manufacturer, Nokia today released its financial report for 2013, and the news was not very encouraging for its future owner Microsoft.
Microsoft executive Frank X Shaw has shot down rumors that suggested that the company plans to invest $2.6 billion in order to entice companies to build Windows Phone handsets.