Windows Phone Archive

myAT&T App For Windows Phone Now Shows Rollover Data

Last month the US carrier AT&T announced a new Rollover Data plan for all of their existing customers.  The plan basically gives you the unused data from your last month and rolls those gigabytes over to the current month.  The plan started taking effect for customers on January 25, 2014 and if your billing cycle has happened since then, you have Rollover Data on your account.  By-the-way, there is no sign up process for this features.  It is for every AT&T customer who has a qualifying plan which is all of the monthly billing plans.

As part of that announcement, AT&T indicated that the myAT&T app for Windows Phone, iOS and Android would all be updated to reflect this rollover data.  That is now in the app which you can download for free from the Windows Phone Store.

myAT&T for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Windows 10 for Phones Initial Thoughts

Now that we are a few hours post the release of the Technical Preview for Windows 10 for Phone I have had a chance to play a bit with the update and wanted to share my thoughts.  Overall I have to say I’m impressed.  There are issues with this beta, no question there, but overall I’ve found that it is stable on my Lumia 635.  I’ll cover my initial thoughts in distinct areas so you get a feel for my experience with it as you wait to install it on your phone as a Windows Insider or wait for the general release later this year.  Those areas will include the install/update process, general look and feel, performance and any issues I’ve encountered.

Before I get started I want to discuss the announcement of Technical Preview being available for Windows 10 for Phone and the general dissatisfaction that seems to be prevail on Twitter and sites with the way Microsoft rolled out the Preview.  I think most of the issue comes with the fact that it was offered only on low to mid-range Lumia devices.  The Lumia 1520 and Lumia 930 for example did not get access to the update. Microsoft’s Gabriel Aul explained in a blog post that it effectively comes down to the OS partition on these devices:

Some context on why we chose these and not higher end phones like the 930/Icon or 1520: We have a feature that will be coming soon called “partition stitching” which will allow us to adjust the OS partition dynamically to create room for the install process to be able to update the OS in-place. Until this comes in, we needed devices which were configured by mobile operators with sufficiently sized OS partitions to allow the in-place upgrade, and many of the bigger phones have very tight OS partitions.

What I read into that is within the next few weeks we will see an update to the Windows 10 for Phones Preview which will have this Partition Stitching that will allow for the higher end devices to see the update.  The problem of course is that during the Windows 10 event in January, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore showed Windows 10 for Phone running on a Lumia 1520.  Everyone, including me, expected it to be available first round on these higher end devices.  Indeed I don’t think this would have been question nearly as much as it has been had this preview been shown on a Lumia 635.

Right now the devices that can run the Windows 10 for Phones Preview are as follows:

  • Lumia 630
  • Lumia 635
  • Lumia 636
  • Lumia 638
  • Lumia 730
  • Lumia 830

For those with other devices the Preview will be coming as Microsoft slowly expands the number of supported devices, particularly after they get this Partition Stitching element built.

For now, let me give you a flavor for what you can expect on from Windows 10 for Phones when it is available on you device.

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

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

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

Microsoft Makes A Strong Commitment to Mobile with Windows 10

If there were any doubts in your mind about Microsoft’s commitment to the mobile space, today’s Windows 10 event should have but those to rest.  Not only did we get some insights into what Windows 10 will look like and now it will function on a smartphone, we also got a commitment to a new flagship Windows phone in 2015.

How To Setup Transparent Live Tiles on Windows Phone

One of my personal favorite features of Windows Phone is Live Tiles.  App that take advantage of Live Tiles allow you to quickly get information on news, sports, weather and whatever else that app provides.  Take the Kindle app as an example.  It shows me on the Live Tile the book I’m reading and how far along I am in it.  Some Live tiles can be setup as transparent meaning that you can “see” through them to a wallpaper or a photo in the background.  It’s a whole new level of personalization as the Live tiles become a part of the background image.  In this How To I’m going to show you how easy it is to setup transparent Live tiles on your Windows Phone so you can enjoy your favorite photo or background each time you look at your device.

Before I start, there is one thing to keep in mind about transparent Live tiles:  Not every app uses them.  There are some apps like Swarm, Kindle and MSN apps that do not use this feature and will be displayed in the traditional metro-style blocks.  You will need to check with each app to see if it supports it.  The vast majority of apps will now simply turn on transparent Live tiles by default once you setup the background wallpaper so you may not need to do anything additional.

Microsoft Announces The Lumia 532

Microsoft has announced a second new Lumia this morning after the earlier announcement of the Lumia 435.  The new Lumia 532 is aimed at the European, APAC and IMEA markets and sports slightly higher specifications than the Lumia 435.  In fact dimension wise it is almost identical to the 435 but with some slightly more impressive features.

Offline File Access Coming to OneDrive for Windows Phone

On the OneDrive User Voice blog, Microsoft Program Manager Casey Penk has confirmed that offline file access is coming to OneDrive for Windows Phone.  While no official timeline was given on when users can expect this feature, the official-unofficial announcement is great news for Windows Phone users of the Microsoft cloud storage service.

Yezz Launches Billy 5S LTE Windows Phone

We haven’t even officially kicked of CES 2015 yet but there is already Windows Phone news to report.  Yezz Mobile, the budget friendly Windows Phone manufacture, has announced the new Billy 5S LTE which will support LTE networks in the North America market, a 5″ IPS HD display and an impressive 13MP camera.  The Yezz Mobile website did not have any pricing information available on this new Windows Phone but if it is similar to the Billy 4 and 4.7, you can expect it to be at a budget friendly price.