Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO Now Available

As part of an update released yesterday for those on the Fast Ring, Microsoft has now released the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview on the Slow Ring as well as ISO images.  The ISO images are built on Build 10041 which the Fast Ring received last week.  Microsoft had said that it would be releasing the ISO images when they released the latest build to the Slow Ring.

Remember that in order to get the ISO images or the Windows 10 Technical Preview in general you must be a member of the Windows Insider program which is free to join.  As I have posted many times, the build is still very much in beta so unless you absolutely need to download it, wait until it is released to the public (for free) this summer.

The Need for A Windows 10 for Phone Update

It has been 40 days since the first Windows 10 for Phone Technical Preview was released to Windows Insiders and unfortunately, there isn’t an update in sight.

Earlier this morning Microsoft’s Gabe Aul posted on Twitter about the updates now available for the Windows 10 Technical Preview for PCs and Tablets. In the thread of replies he was asked about an update for Windows 10 for Phone. Sadly the news was not good.

Like the bemoaning that has happened on Windows 10 and the lack of updates, the natives are growing restless with Windows 10 for Phone at this point too.  Microsoft has made it clear that this summer we will see Windows 10 across all devices.  That means testing absolutely needs to get started in earnest across a wide range of Windows Phones.  We know that there will be more phones eligible to run the next update and we also know that the Partition Zipping for higher end phones was needed for it to be loaded onto these devices.  Regardless of this fact the need to get an update out on phones is becoming ever more critical to meet this summer launch date.

Microsoft Releases Windows 10 Build 10041 Updates

Microsoft has dropped three important updates for those who are running the Windows 10 Technical Preview.  Build 10041 has been updated to fix some security issues but also address some bugs from the original release last week.  If you are running the preview you will want to get these updates ASAP.  Also, good news for those of you who are on the Slow Ring.  The team over at Windows Central is reporting that this build will be pushed out to Slow Ring Windows Insider’s later today.

Windows 10 for Phone to Support WPS Authentication

The amount of content and information about Windows 10 and Windows 10 for Phone from last week’s WinHEC event in China has been impressive.  Some of it has been reaffirmation of things that we already knew (like further explanation of the Universal App development) while other news has been fresh like the Windows 10 for Phone hardware requirements.  This latest tidbit likely will fall in the “About Time” category for many who have been using Windows Phone for some time.  When we see Windows 10 for Phone roll out later this year it will natively support Wi-Fi Protected Setup, or WPS.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with WPS, it is way of securely connecting to your Wi-Fi network without having to enter in a long password.  The idea behind it is that you can have a secure network but not be encumbered by a massively long security key, the significant reason people at home do not setup secure networks.  While Windows 8.1 supports WPS today, it is not supported in Windows Phone 8.1 so this change will make it easier for users to connect their devices and keep their networks secure.

Nextgen Reader for Windows Phone Update Brings Further Enhancements

Nextgen Reader, the Feedly driven news and RSS app, has received a minor update today, bringing stability improvements along with a handful of new features.  I’ve been using Nextgen Reader since 2011 (Yes, it has been around that long) and I recently wrote a review of it outlining why I think it is the best Feedly/RSS reader available for Windows Phone.  At $2.99 for this universal app for Windows and Windows Phone, it’s well worth the price of admission.  This latest update, version 6.4.0.0 for those keeping score at home, brings mostly stability improvements but also a new personalization features as well.

Note that as of the time of this post that the Windows Phone version of the app had been updated and is available in the Windows Phone Store.  The Windows part of this universal app has not been updated yet but I expect that to happen today.  Regardless, if you buy it for either device, you get its counterpart free as part of the license.

Nextgen Reader for Windows Phone – $2.99 – Download Now

Nextgen Reader for Windows – $2.99 – Download Now

Windows Phone Doesn’t Have An App Gap – It Has An App Update Gap

When I returned to Windows Phone in August of last year, I penned an article in November where I discussed the app gap for the platform when compared to iOS and Android.  The basis of that article was that when I left the platform in 2011 for iOS, the gulf of an app gap was so huge that it couldn’t be ignored and it eventually became too much for me to handle.

For those who stuck it out, I applaud you.  You are better than me.

But over the past few weeks I’ve come to realize that I was at a basic level wrong in this article.  Yes there is an app gap for Windows Phone and yes it is a problem.  But the reality is that there are a lot of 3rd party apps in the Windows Phone app store to fill that gap.  The real problem upon reflection is the app update gap.  That is what is frustrating me as a Windows Phone user and fan and based on comments left here on the site and on Twitter, I don’t think I’m alone.

Microsoft Announces Windows 10 SDK and it is Available Now

After what seemed like an eternity in February and early March, the news surrounding Windows 10 has been fast and furious these past two weeks.  Today’s announcement, the availability of the Windows 10 SDK (Software Development Kit) continues that and is a signal to developers to start preparing their apps for Windows 10.  Now.

The new Windows 10 SDK can be found at this link and like Windows 10 itself, this SDK is in preview mode (i.e. beta).  Still, if you are a developer or are thinking of doing some development in this new Universal app world of Windows 10, the SDK should be something to download and review.  To do so you will need to be a part of the Windows Insider program which is also free.

Microsoft and Samsung Expand Relationship to Pre-Install Office Apps on Android Tablets

Building on the announcements that they made at Mobile World Congress, Microsoft and Samsung today have announced a furthering of their relationship which will include the pre-install of Microsoft Office apps on Samsung Android-based tablets.  The announcement, while not a complete surprise, is good news for Samsung devices users as they will get these apps and the impact of this is both for consumers and businesses.  While I have been quite critical of how Google themselves had played with Microsoft, it is clear that Samsung sees the value of a relationship between the two companies even after a contentious legal battle.  While I’m not sure this is all kiss-and-make-up, it certainly is a step in the right direction.

Get Your Ninja Cat Unicorn Stickers

In baseball, you know you have made it if you have a baseball card made for you.  In memeland, you know you’ve made it if they make a sticker of you.

Peeps, I give you Ninja Cat Unicorn stickers.

So a little bit of a back story for those who are unfamiliar with the Unicorn riding, Microsoft flag waiving Ninja cat meme.  It started when Windows 10 for Phone was released last month when Gabe Aul Tweeted a photo of someone’s laptop with this sticker on it.  It, like many memes, took a life of its own and has quickly become one of the most sought after things on Microsoft’s campus.  Thanks to Microsoft MVP Michael Gillett, I have posted mobile wallpaper versions of wallpapers he created of the Ninja Cat riding unicorn which you can find here.

Now it seems for a mere $3.00 you can have your own Ninja cat sticker for your laptop, window (the physical ones you look out) or wherever you decide the meme needs to live in your life.

Audible for Windows Phone Gets Massive Update in Latest Version

The audio book app Audible for Windows Phone has received a major update, it’s first since 2013 (the same year it was released) and it brings a whole host of new features, fixes and improvements.  If you remember, I told you about the Audible for Windows Phone Beta that has been going on these past few weeks and I even encouraged users to try it as it was so much better than the current “shipping” version of the Audible app.  That beta is now rolled up into the official app and everyone will benefit from it.  The update, version 9.0.1.23 for those keeping score at home, is available now in the Windows Phone store.

Audible for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now