Windows Phone Archive

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.

Spotify for Windows Phone Gets New UI in Latest Update

The music streaming service Spotify has a whole new look and feel this morning for Windows Phone users.  Spotify for Windows Phone has been updated to version 5.0 and it brings with it a virtually brand new look and feel to the app.  The new looks leans heavily on transparency throughout the app, something that you usually find in iOS apps but no Windows Phone. Spotify for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Lumia 830 Unlocked – $369.99 on Amazon

Here is another great deal running currently on Amazon.  Right now you can get the Lumia 830 International Unlocked version for only $369.99.  That’s a full $130 less than what you can buy it from AT&T or Microsoft direct on their sites.  The “Affordable Flagship” has done reasonably well here in the US market and at this price it certainly is one to consider.

The International Unlocked version means that it will work here in the US with no problem but you will not be able to use LTE connectivity.  You will only have HSDPA+ which is really fast 3G.  Personally, this is what I have on my Lumia 1320 as it is also an international unlock version that I acquired while in Europe.  Unless you just really, really need LTE, HSDPA+ will meet the needs of most users.

Lumia 830 International Unlocked – $369.99 – Amazon

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.

Microsoft Announces The Lumia 435

Microsoft this morning announced the all new, ultra budget friendly Lumia 435 this morning.  The newest Lumia will be available in Europe, APAC and IMEA in February and will retail for around $80 which makes it the most affordable current Lumia device on the market.  The announcement comes just days before the big Microsoft event in Redmond next Tuesday where several anouncements around Windows 10 and Windows Mobile are expected.

How To Setup Internet Sharing on Your Windows Phone

There are times when the only connectivity to the Internet you have is your data connection on your Windows Phone at an airport, hotel or while in a taxi.  With high speed 3G and 4G coverage throughout most major cities and countries in the world, being able to leverage that connection from your Windows PC or tablet can be important when you are in the back of a taxi making that last minute change to a PowerPoint presentation (which you would need to do from a PC or tablet given how poor the Office experience is for Windows Phone - but I digress). In this How To I will show you how to quickly and easily configure the Internet Sharing feature of your Windows Phone so it can be that mobile hotspot for your other devices.

Two things to keep in mind about this How To.  First, it is made with the assumption that you have this feature from your carrier available and enabled.  Here in the US, I’m on AT&T and tethering as they like to call it is by default enabled and does not cost any extra for me to use.  You will need to check with you mobile provider to see if that is the case for your account.  If you do not have it included in your account and you do Internet Sharing, you could rack up some serious charges so check it out before you set this up.  Secondly, you will use a significant more amount of data if you have Internet Sharing enabled and are using your Windows Phone to connect two or three devices at once.  Make sure you have enough data to cover your needs on your monthly account.

Pandora for Windows Phone Updated With Voice Commands

The Pandora for Windows Phone app has received a nice update today, bringing several new features to the app including voice commands.  The free music service (a premium service is available) allows you to stream music based on “stations” for your favorite genre or artist.  The update is available now for free in the Windows Phone Store.

Pandora for Windows Phone – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Fitbit for Windows Phone Gets Another Small Bug Fix Update

The Fitbit for Windows Phone app has received another minor update today aimed at addressing some bug fixes with the app.  The latest build is version 1.5.178.11521 for those keeping score and there are no new features in the release but is one that all users should update to via the Store app on your Windows Phone.

Fitbit for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Lumia Cinemagraph App Updated with GIF Export

The Microsoft Lumia exclusive app, Lumia Cinemagraph, has been updated today with the ability to export your cinemagraphs to GIF files amongst other performance updates.  For those who are not familiar with the app, Lumia Cinemagraph allows you to take photos and animate them.  It’s a fun app – not particularly high on the useful scale – but does a great job.  Until now exporting these was a bit of a trick but this update brings the Internet standard animated GIF support so sharing just became way easier.

Lumia Cinemagraph – Free (Lumia Only ) – Download Now

Microsoft Phone Insider Released In Preparation for Windows 10

With Microsoft expected to make big announcements around Windows 10 next week, Windows Phone users now have a new Phone Insider app to help them prepare for the next version of Windows Phone.  The app is available now in the Windows Phone store and while it does not do much of anything a this point, it is a clear indicator that Redmond is getting Insiders ready for the next version of Windows Phone, likely to be named Windows Mobile.

Phone Insider – Free – Download Now