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

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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LG G3 sports best-in-class smartphone battery life

Posted by Ariel Levin-Waldman Categories: Cell Phones, Handhelds

LG G3 battery life

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.​


Amazon seemingly set to reveal Kindle smartphone in Seattle on June 18

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Cell Phones, Handhelds, Rumors, Videos

Amazon Kindle Smartphone

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.

Click to continue reading Amazon seemingly set to reveal Kindle smartphone in Seattle on June 18


Ask Andru: Which devices are compatible with iOS 8?

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Handhelds, Software

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!


iOS 8 to debut third-party keyboards, here comes Swype

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Handhelds, Software

iOS 8 swype keyboard

During its WWDC 2014 keynote, Apple announced iOS 8 will support third-party keyboards as part of a new extensions capability. You'll be able to set the new keyboard to be used system-wise, and Apple shows an image of the popular Swype keyboard system as an example. The keyboard will be sandboxed so that they can only access text input, although the user will have the ability to also grant the keyboard network access if there are more features that may require Internet access that someone may want to use.

Third-party keyboards will be available in the App Store when iOS 8 is released.


Apple shows off iOS 8 Health app & HealthKit platform

iOS 8 HealthKit

As rumored, Apple has announced its iOS 8 health initiative during the WWDC 2014 keynote. The new Health app will work with a developer API bundle called HealthKit. In iOS 8, apps will be able to report your health data to a centralized location, allowing you to see all the information and stats from different apps all in the same area. Further, you'll be able to choose if you'd like to share health data from one app to another.

Apple announced that Nike and the Mayo Clinic are two of the first to be working on HealthKit integration, while also picturing a Withings blood pressure monitor. Not much more has been announced about the new Health app for iOS 8 yet, but we're sure we will hear more about it closer to the release of iOS 8 release.


Apple reveals iOS 8: Interactive notifications, Messages improvements, and more

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Handhelds, Software

iOS 8 wwdc

During it's WWDC 2014 keynote, Apple has announced iOS 8, the next major update for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. New features abound in iOS 8 that refine some things, and make others even better. One major feature is the interactive notifications. You know how you might get a text message or calendar invite when using your iPhone? You might be right in the middle of something and don't want to tap on the notification to go over to the Messages app--and in iOS 8, you don't have to. Instead, you can reply right from the notification. You can respond to calendar invites in the same way.

Apple also announced OS X during the keynote as well, which features a new visual overhaul, which was leaked prior to the event.

Developing...


ASUS PadFone X comes to the US on July 6th for $199

ASUS PadFone X

So, these days just about everyone owns a smartphone. I own one. You own one. Even my grandmother owns one. If you are part of a smaller group of people, you might also own a tablet of some sort. I own an iPad for instance. And they really fulfill the same role- wasting precious moments of my life on the internet when I really could be doing something productive. Sure, one has a big screen and can't make calls, but I have often wondered why I really need both.

Apparently, so has ASUS. Back in 2012 they came out with the PadFone, a smartphone dock that was also a tablet screen, so you could view your phone in larger than life (ok, larger than phone anyway) detail. But unless you wanted to hop a plane to Taiwan and buy it there, chances are you would not get your hands on one.

Now you can. ASUS announced that starting July 6th, the PadFone will be available on the US market under the name PadFone X through AT&T. It is projected to cost $200. It only works with ASUS smartphones though, so US companies will have to get in the game.


Unboxing Live 142: LG G Flex

We bring you a look at the LG G Flex smartphone in this episode of Unboxing Live. The device sports the obvious gorgeous, curved OLED 720p display, which is actually flexible to 180 degrees and also features self-healing material on the rear casing. For real. Other specs include the inclusion of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 mobile processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel rear camera. We open it up, and show you what's included with the G Flex, and give you a full walkthrough of the device.

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