Microsoft has released Windows Phone Build 14219 for those who participate in the Preview for Developers program. The update is either ready for you in your Phone Update in Settings on your device or can be downloaded by tapping the Check for Update button on the same screen. While the Preview for Developers program is a free app and service, I’ll remind everyone that it is beta software and sometimes behaves as such.
The biggest news with this update is support for Cortana in France, Germany, Italy and Spain as part of an update posted on the Microsoft blog this morning. Now Windows Phone users can enjoy the personal assistant feature that has been available to those in the United States and other countries for a few months.
If you are like me, one think you get use to in Windows 8.1 is how your Start screen is configured on your PC. With a swipe to the left or right, I know exactly where certain apps are located that I access, making my user experience certainly more personal but equally faster for me day-to-day.
As I posted earlier in the week, I picked up a Toshiba Encore 2 tablet on Black Friday. You can read my first impressions of the Encore 2 here on the site but now that I have two Windows 8.1 devices, the ability to sync my settings across my devices has finally come to age for me. The settings have always been there as a part of OneDrive but they are a bit buried and if you aren’t using multiple devices, there isn’t much of a point (although you can sync your theme colors to your Windows Phone). This is a small but powerful feature as it immediately allows you to have the same computing experience with the Start screen on any of your devices. In this How To I will show you how to sync your PC settings across your Windows devices using this small but powerful feature in your OneDrive settings.
One of the things that I have missed since leaving the iOS wilderness has been a tablet device. I loved my iPad Air and I increasingly found that I was having to schlep around my Windows powered MacBook for what I use to do on my iPad. With Black Friday coming up last week, I decided to pick up an inexpensive Windows tablet to fill the gap. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money in case I absolutely hated the experience and thought it would be a good launch point for a more advanced tablet if I wanted to go that route. In that vein I ended up getting the Toshiba Encore 2 for a mere $132 from Amazon. At that price, I didn’t expect a lot nor was I in deep cost wise if I hated it.
After a couple of days of using the Encore 2, I have to say that I am quite pleased with the purchase and you can still get it for a great price of $149 at the Microsoft Store. For that price it’s hard to beat.
As part of their Cyber Monday sale, Microsoft has the Lumia 635 Windows Phone on sale today for just $39.00, $60 off the normal price of $99.00. The phone is locked to AT&T however there is no contract on the phone. If you remember, the Lumia 635 was on sale on Black Friday at Amazon for $49.00 so this is an even better deal on what is one of my favorite budget Windows Phone devices.
The Microsoft Store is offering the BLU Win Jr Windows Phone for $49.00 today only at their physical and online stores. This entry level Windows Phone comes unlocked and normally sells for $89.00. It is a great deal if you are looking for a new Windows Phone.
If you are an Angry Birds games fan on Windows Phone, it is a good weekend to be you. Through this weekend you can get all of the Angry Birds games free for your phone through the Windows Phone Store. The games, along with Bad Piggies and several other games, are a part of Microsoft’s Deals Hub in the Windows Phone Store app.
To make it easy for you, I’ve linked to all of the Angry Birds games for Windows Phone here along with Bad Piggies.
With the rollout of Lumia Denim expected to start literally in days, I thought it would be a good idea to post a guide of what you can expect in the next major release of the Lumia OS that runs on Windows Phone. Lumia Denim is a firmware update that will eventually make its way to every Windows Phone running 8.1. This update is sometimes referred to as Update 1 although it is unclear if Microsoft will actually call it that when the time comes to release it. Regardless of the naming, Lumia Denim is a big update for Windows Phone users and brings forth a significant number of improvements to your Windows Phone experience.