On Gear Live: Chris Weber interview: The future of device branding for Windows Phone

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Chris Weber Microsoft Nokia

Chris Weber is the CVP of Mobile Devices Sales at Microsoft, re-joining the company through it's purchase of Nokia, where he was in charge of global sales. He knows his way around every Lumia device, and is now aiming to make sure that Windows Phone first-party hardware is an even player at the devices table. We were able to sit down with Chris to talk about Nokia, Lumia, Windows Phone, and what changes need to be made in order to realize the success he is seeking. Check out the full interview below:

When is Windows Phone 8.1 coming out?
The answer varies by device and operator. The Lumia 630 and 635 are the first 8.1 products, launched internationally. We’re also working with our current products, and any Windows 8 phone is upgradeable to 8.1. There is currently a developer preview, but the operator version requires further testing. 8.1 is a completely different experience. Things like the background wallpaper, increased customization, and especially Cortana, which is one of the best features.

There are key differences between Cortana and similar services on other devices. It proactively learns. The other day I was flying to Moscow. The week before, it asked if it wanted me to track my flight to Moscow. There is a link that says "Do you want to know how I knew that?" Cortana looked at my calendar and started looking up flight numbers. It also has geo-fencing. You can say "Remind me that Ignacio owes me $100." I can say remind me when I send an email, when I arrive home, etc. Or "Remind me to pick up my dry cleaning" and when you get in the area, the message pops up. "Remind me to pick up milk at the grocery store” and you get the choice of having it remind you when you are near any grocery store, not just one specific one.

Back to being on the plane, I said "Remind me to download the music for guitar when I get home." It's really, really good. Flow writing, which is similar to Swype, means I can do emails faster on my phone than on the keyboard now. I got a new phone and it wasn't running 8.1 and the hunt and peck was tough!

Click to continue reading Chris Weber interview: The future of device branding for Windows Phone


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Nokia Lumia 1520

Microsoft has an ambitious new idea to set themselves apart from Android and iOS. They want to install their video game motion sensor technology in an upcoming Windows Phone. Tom Warren of The Verge says that Microsoft insiders have slipped him some elusive information on the new phone.

The goal is to eliminate as many buttons and screen swipes as possible from the new phone. It should be able to answer a call simply by holding it up to your ear and end a call when it is dropped into a pocket. Place it on the table to put it on speaker, wave a hand in front of the screen to dismiss alerts, and push buttons without touching the phone, these are the feats that Warren says the phone will be capable of.

The 3D features, as they are being called, are not unique to Microsoft. Amazon is purportedly going to reveal a similar device June 18th. Eliminating screen smudges is cool, but I am not certain if I would be willing to buy a whole new phone to do it though. Given that the Kinect didn't sell consoles on its own merit, I am skeptical if it will do so in the even more competitive smartphone market.

Still, if the 3D sensor allows me a full size keyboard without taking up any real space, it might just be worth a glance.


OS X Yosemite

Apple has posted the OS X Yosemite design video that it showed during the WWDC 2014 keynote, which shows a bunch of the new features and design elements found in OS X 10.10. In case you haven't seen WWDC (although you can watch the WWDC 2014 keynote video in its entirety,) this video covers the larger design language updates, and the more subtle changes to the dock, icons, traffic light buttons, etc. It also gives a look at the new AirDrop functionality, Finder, Messages, Notification Center, and all the rest of the OS X new hotness.

You can check out the video after the jump.

Click to continue reading Apple posts video of OS X Yosemite redesign [Video]


iOS 8 devices

Apple announced iOS 8 and gave us a look at a bunch of the major features during its WWDC 2014 keynote (you can watch the WWDC 2014 keynote here.) We got a question in from Nick F. asking:

"I'm curious if my iPhone 4S will be able to run iOS 8. How do I know if it is compatible?"

You may be wondering if your iOS device is compatible with Apple's latest and greatest, so here's a look at the full list of Apple products that will be able to be upgraded to iOS 8:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPad 2
  • iPad with Retina display (iPad 3 and iPad 4)
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini
  • iPad mini with Retina display
  • iPod touch (5th generation)

As you can see, as it pertains to the iPhone line, the iPhone 4 (released in 2010) and older will not be compatible with iOS 8. With iPad, it'll be the original model that won't be able to use the new operating system. Meanwhile, the only iPod touch that can run iOS 8 is the 5th generation model. That's quite a generous line-up when compared to competing smartphone and tablet platforms!


If you missed the WWDC 2014 keynote, we've pretty much had you covered here at Gear Live as far as the news coming out of the event. However, sometimes, seeing is believing, and many would rather watch the historic event for themselves. Now you can. Apple has made the video available to view on demand on YouTube and on the Apple Web site. If you'd prefer to download it, you can grab it in iTunes using your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. We've embedded the YouTube version right here for you!


Yosemite ios 8 handoff setup

With plenty of people now running both iOS 8 beta and OS X Yosemite Developer Preview in order to kick the tires on Apple's upcoming operating systems, we're hearing that a lot of people are confused as to how to get the cool Handoff feature working. Handoff, announced during the WWDC 2014 keynote, is what allows the two operating systems talk to each other and pass app information back and forth seamlessly. Here's how you do it:

Click to continue reading How to set up Handoff in OS X Yosemite & iOS 8


Fleksy for iOS 8

Apple announced that third-party keyboard support would be a major feature in iOS 8 just two days ago during its WWDC 2014 keynote, and just like that, Fleksy is already showing that it's up and running on Apple's upcoming mobile operating system. The Fleksy keyboard is actually available already on iOS, but only within the Fleksy app itself, as well as in apps that have built-in the Fleksy API. What changes in iOS 8 is that Fleksy (and other keyboards) will be able to take over as the system-wide keyboard for all applications, should a user choose to do that. You can download the Fleksy app now for a preview, and sign up to join the iOS 8 Fleksy beta.


Final Cut Pro X Yosemite fix

Yesterday, Apple released the first OS X Yosemite Developer Preview following its WWDC 2014 keynote, allowing beta testers early access to its next big desktop operating system update. While many appreciate the new, overhauled appearance of the OS, many forgot that this was beta software they were installing, and that all bets were off as far as bugs and other issues went. One of the big ones if you edit videos is that both Final Cut Pro X and iMovie won't launch by default in the initial Yosemite Developer Preview. We were able to find a way around this:

  1. Head to your Applications folder in Finder
  2. Right-click the Final Cut Pro or iMovie app icon
  3. Select "Show Package Contents"
  4. Go into the Contents folder
  5. Go into the  MacOS folder
  6. Double-click on the app icon (either Final Cur Pro or iMovie)

This will launch the Terminal app first, and then should launch the video editor after a few Terminal commands go through. It's not a perfect solution, but it's one that we've found will work for now, at least until Yosemite Developer Preview 2 is released in what we guess will be a couple of weeks.


iOS 8 time-lapse camera

One new iOS 8 feature that wasn't announced during Apple's WWDC 2014 keynote is time-lapse video capture. When using the camera app, you can swipe over to the new Time-Lapse option, and set up your device to start taking photos at dynamically selected intervals. So, if you want to capture a sunset, a cityscape, or an animal floating by in the water, when you are all said and done, your iOS device will stich the images together into a video. iOS 8 will be available later this fall.


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