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!
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.
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.
The unlimited leaks surrounding the LG G3 left little to the imagination. We got a very in depth look at the massive smartphone, with a quad-core processor boasting 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, and 5.5-inch 2K display. Very impressive numbers. Those are the kind of systems that consume a lot of power.
Power has always been the greatest limitation of electronic devices, but the G3 is certainly pushing those limits. It boasts the kind of battery life you'd expect from a tablet, weighing in at 8 hours and fifty minutes. This beats out the 8 hours and 20 minutes of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia's 8 hours and 10 quite handily. My iPhone gives me about five.
It also takes the lead in charge time. From empty to full the G3 finished its tests in 120 minutes, two faster than the next fastest (the S5 again). The Xperia took close to four hours.
LG has not revealed all their secrets regarding the G3, but they say they have replaced a lot of metal on the insides with graphite, as well as implemented adaptive frame rate based on the phone's usage.
Skype has decided to overhaul its iOS app, bringing it to version 5.0. Recently, the communications company has been upgrading its mobile app for other platforms, namely Android and Windows Phone, but until now Apple has been left behind.
The first thing you might notice is the new interface. They have completely changed the looks to bring it in line with the newer iOS design language. The next thing is the software changes. You can now start group chats directly from the central hub and don't have to wait until a friends is online before you can message them. Apparently offline messaging was something that was only developed in 2014.
Skype 5.0 also has some software upgrades that are not obvious upon opening the app. It is better at synching your messages between devices and has had its coding redesigned to work up to five times faster, according to a teaser video released Monday evening.
But after tempting you with all the upgrades and good news, Skype is going to leave you hanging. It will be another week before the new Skype for the iPhone is released to the public.
Read More | Skype for iPhone
Yes, it’s true—Microsoft is about to get into the smartwatch game, and I got the opportunity to play with it. As we'd previously reported, Microsoft has filed a patent that details a smartwatch. However, often these patent filings aren’t exactly what we see companies end up releasing. So, let’s separate the cruft and get to the meat of the matter. A number of months ago I took a trip to New York where I came across someone who was testing the upcoming Microsoft wearable device. I saw it on their wrist and asked about it. They tried to explain that it was a random fitness wristband ordered from China at first, but eventually (with some prodding) gave me the scoop. Here is your exclusive first look at what Microsoft is planning for its first wearable smart device, what we are referring to as the Surface Watch:
- As far as looks, the image above is a parody, but not far off. It has an elongated form factor, but isn't as comically large as what's in the image. It is much more akin to something like the Fitbit One or Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit in shape rather than taking on the shape of a traditional watch, like Pebble did, or like what Google showed off with Android Wear. What we saw had a flat display, while the inner portion that would rest against your skin was curved.
- The icons are the flat style that Microsoft has been using on its other devices like Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Xbox One. That's what tipped me off in the first place.
- Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy is how it interacts with the rest of the world
- The flat glass display, and was definitely not high resolution. We hope that both of these change in the final product--a high-resolution curved display already exists on the Samsung Gear Fit, and the Microsoft device just didn't look as good.
- The watch is packed with sensors. It has a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS, and most interestingly, a galvanic skin response sensor all built-in. The galvanic skin response sensor is built into the watch band, while everything else is built into the unit itself.
Industry sources are aligning, and it appears that Apple is prepping to release its first wearable watch (which many are referring to as the iWatch) this October. According to Re/code and Nikkei, Apple is planning a special event to debut and show off all the features of the new device in October--by our own estimation, this would be a month after the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 launch, and could be within the same timeframe that Apple launches the new Touch ID-enabled iPads.
People familiar with Apple's plans tell Re/Code the company hopes to schedule a special event that month to show off the device, which is designed to make good use of the HealthKit health and fitness information-gathering app it recently showed off at WWDC. Could things change between now and fall? That's certainly possible. But right now October is the target date.
We've been hearing about the rumored fall release of the iWatch for months, while simultaneously also hearing that it might be pushed back to 2015. Now that more reliable sources are in on the reports, it looks like things are coming together. Nikkei is also reporting that the device will sport a curved OLED touchscreen display, and will heavily focused on integrating with the new Health app in iOS 8, tracking things like calories burned, sleep activity, blood oxygen levels, and other fitness-related data.
Amazon has released a new video that teases what we expect to be its new Kindle smartphone. You can see people in the video interacting with...something...whatever it is, it has been masterfully cut from the footage. The users are all impressed, saying things like "It moved with me!" and "How does it do that?" while swaying back and forth. Of course, the rumored Amazon smartphone was said to include six cameras near the display that would track the movement of your head in order to provide an interactive, glasses-free 3D user interface.
While the video, which we've embedded below, doesn't give away much of anything, what we are expecting is a smartphone with a 4.7-inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 13-megapixel camera, and 2GB RAM. And that crazy software UI. As you can see in Amazon's teaser image above, the device is black, and has a beveled rear edge. The company has planned a big launch event in Seattle on June 18th, where we'll bring you all of the news as it's announced. For now, check out the video after the break.
"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!
Last week on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oliver did a fantastic segment that lasted over 13 minutes talking about the issue of net neutrality and the work (or, lack thereof) that the FCC is going to address it. He broke it down perfectly and in true John Oliver fashion, touching on all the important points while keeping it light and funny. Then, at the end, Oliver called for the Internet commenter trolls to unite and head over to the FCC Web site to make their voices heard on the net neutrality forum. The result? The FCC site collapsed under the pressure. Seriously, I encourage you to watch the segment, which we've embedded here in this post. After you do, head on over to the FCC Web site and let them know to put a stop to this ridiculousness.
© Gear Live Inc. – User-posted content, unless source is quoted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain License. Gear Live graphics, logos, designs, page headers, button icons, videos, articles, blogs, forums, scripts and other service names are the trademarks of Gear Live Inc.