Lumia Denim Rolling Out on Some Carriers – But Slow in North America

Lumia Denim has started making its way to devices locked to carriers in South American and the United Kingdom, starting what hopefully will be a rapid release on other carriers globally.  As you may remember, Lumia Denim was released back in December but it is up to carriers to test and release it for specific devices on their network.  Those who have Country Variant version of Windows Phones have already received Lumia Denim by-and-large.

Windows Phone Developers Please Keep The Faith

Dear Windows Phone Developers,

I’m writing you today in an open forum to ask for one thing.  It is something that I know is a difficult ask.  Your livelihoods are at stake in some cases.  Your company’s growth is at stake.  I know what I’m asking for has big impact but it something that I must ask for in light of recent events.

That ask is patience.  I know when it comes to Windows Phone development that patience has often lead to frustration.  Frustration from a lack of support.  Frustration with mixed messages from Microsoft.  Frustration from a community that was equally frustrated and left.  I know, I was one of them for a while wandering the iOS wilderness.

But brighter days are ahead.

Those brighter days come with Windows 10, the next version of Windows that will be on every device that runs Windows today.  But more importantly, it brings universal apps to the market.  That means you as a developer, with a few tweaks for UIs and other device specific elements, can have your apps on everything from a Xbox One to a tablet to a Windows powered phone.  Code once, it is everywhere.  This, undoubtedly, will make your lives easier from both a coding perspective and a support perspective.

The recent announcements by Chase and Bank of America to discontinue their Windows Phone app support was frustrating to see.  It was another blow to the platform.  But it was short sighted.  They gave up when brighter days are ahead.  They gave up because of too few users.  Windows 10 will change this.  I predict this time next year there will be a new and improved Chase and BofA app in the Windows universal Store.  That is because Windows 10 is a game changer for developers.  Even Microsoft, who is throwing out updates and new apps for iOS and Android on a seemingly weekly basis, know that brighter days are ahead.  They are already showing off new universal apps for Windows 10 in the Windows Insider preview.  This is the future of Windows and it is as bright as it has ever been.

But it will require patience.  It is my ask of you as a former MVP, as one who is passionate about this platform and one who writes about it every day on this site.

Keep the Faith.  In the end, it will pay.

Regards,

Clinton

Windows Insider for Windows Phone App Updated

Microsoft has released an update to what was known as the Phone Insider app for Windows Phone.  The now Windows Insider for Windows Phone app is essentially the same app with a new name but clearly prepares the way for Windows 10 to come to your phone in February.

Windows Insider – Free – Download Now

Facebook for Windows Phone App Updated

The official Facebook for Windows Phone app has been updated today with several improvements and fixes for the social network app.  The update, version 8.3.5.0 for those keeping score at home, brings improvements to almost every area of the app which should create a better, more consistent user experience.

Facebook for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Calendar for Windows Phone Gains Agenda View in Latest Update

The Calendar for Windows Phone app has been updated with several new features.  This is the default calendar app that comes with every Windows Phone but like the Music, Video and other built-in apps, sees an update now-and-again to bring new features or stability.  This update, version 1.0.15087.0 for those keeping score at home, is mainly focused on new features instead of bug fixes and includes an all new Agenda view.

Calendar for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Windows 10 Part 1 – Install and First Impressions

Yesterday I installed Windows 10 to start doing bug hunting and experimenting on what will be the next version of Windows for every device.  As I posted yesterday, Windows 10 is certainly in beta and shouldn’t be installed on your production (day-to-day) PC unless you are willing to put up with odd behavior and bugs here and there.  In my case, I installed it on a PC I do not use every day so it can be my test bed.  This post will be the first in a series that outline the updating and development of Windows 10 until it is released later this year.  For this first part, I’ll cover the installation process and my first impressions.

As a reminder, for those who want to try Windows 10 out yourself, you can do so by joining the Windows Insider program.  It is free to join but the expectation is you will test and help report bugs.  Also note that for you Windows Phone users, Windows 10 for Phone will not be available until February.  Right now it is only for PCs and tablets.

Age of Empires Castle Siege Gets Another Major Update

Microsoft Studios has released another major update to the popular game Age of Empires Castle Siege for Windows and Windows Phone.  The update, version 1.0.4.371 for those keeping score at home, brings a huge number of game improvements, bug fixes and expanded content for those who have made it to Age 8 in the game.  I reviewed Age of Empires Castle Siege when it was first released and the game has had several big updates since that review.  While the fundamentals of the game haven’t changed – advance your civilization and protect it against attacking hordes – the game has certainly improved in overall stability and features.

Age of Empires Castle Siege for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Age of Empires Castle Siege for Windows – Free – Download Now

Remember: Windows 10 is Still in Beta

Last week Microsoft gave everyone a surprise by releasing Windows 10 to the Windows Insider community.  With hundreds of thousands in the program (and you can join for free too), there are a significant number of peeps running the next version of Windows on their PC or tablet.  Just a reminder to everyone:  This is a beta.  While every indication is that Windows 10 right now is more stable than any previous beta, you can certainly expect there to be issues and challenges if you load it onto your PC or tablet.  That’s the nature of the beast so if you aren’t prepared to live with that, don’t upgrade until it is available for free to everyone later this year.

OneDrive for Windows Phone Gets A Minor Update

Microsoft has released a small update to their OneDrive for Windows Phone app.  The update, version 4.6 for those keeping score at home, is essentially nothing more than a bug fix release so don’t look for any new features in the update if you believe the release notes.  According to the release notes, there are two things that are addressed in this update:

  • Visual updates to the file properties page
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements

But there is something new in this update and the file properties changes are actually really nice.

OneDrive for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Office For Windows 10 is Touch Friendly and Beautiful

As part of the massive Windows 10 event today, Microsoft showed off for the first time Office for Windows 10, a completely universal and touch friendly version of Office that will be coming to your smartphone, tablet and PC.  It means that the Office experience, no matter which device you are using, will be the same, touch friendly and equally powerful.  Finally!