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

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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.

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Microsoft Announces Windows 10 SDK and it is Available Now

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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.

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

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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.

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Get Your Ninja Cat Unicorn Stickers

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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.

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Audible for Windows Phone Gets Massive Update in Latest Version

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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

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Chase Bank The Latest Bank to Shun The Windows Phone Community

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The shunning of Windows and Windows Phone by the US banking industry continues in earnest.  After Bank of America dropped support for their Windows and Windows Phone applications earlier this month, Chase has followed suit.  Over the weekend, Chase users who attempted to use the app were greeted with a notification that the app was no longer supported and that users needed to go to the Chase website through their browser.  Like Bank of America, users of Chase also found problems using the mobile website in Internet Explorer on their Windows Phone.

It is just the latest in a series of high profile and important apps being dropped for Windows Phone at a time where the future for the platform and universal apps is as bright as it has ever been.

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Windows 10 for Phone to Support New Bluetooth Hands-Free Profiles for Improved Quality

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As part of the new Windows 10 for Phone, Microsoft is making sure that it includes the latest and greatest in Bluetooth Hands-Free Profiles for improved sound and voice quality.  As part of the wide range of announcements they made last week at WinHEC in China, Microsoft announced that the new mobile platform will support the Hands-Free Profile (HFP) standard 1.6 which requires, amongst other things, the support for high definition audio.  Microsoft is referring to this as Wideband speech but you may also know if it as HD Voice and it should significantly improve the audio quality of calls and using voice activated services like Cortana on the new platform.

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