Samsung promised an open platform when it purchased SmartThings, a startup that aims to make every household more intelligent with its products. So, despite the automation service already being present on iOS and Android, the most popular mobile operating systems, SmartThings is opening its doors to a fresh audience: Windows Phone 8. The SmartThings app is great for people looking to upgrade their home but that were, perhaps, hesitant to do so because of the ecosystem’s lack of support for Windows Phone handsets. Most home automations platforms have some sort of integration with iOS or Android from the get-go, leaving Windows Phone users out of options. As such, this is a great move by the Samsung-owned SmartThings. Once you download the app, you’ll be able to control SmartThings devices with ease — and if you haven’t invested yet, maybe now it’s the time to start thinking about creating your own Smart Home.
Source: Windows Phone
When I reviewed Huawei’s Ascend W1 last summer, I was surprised at how much I liked it, considering its bargain-basement price. Microsoft clearly deserves plaudits for getting Windows Phone 8 to work on such low-power hardware, and Huawei made a real effort to produce a solid feeling, well-made device. Unfortunately, the inclusion of a forward-facing camera couldn’t make up for a paltry 1.88GB of storage, and I couldn’t recommend that you all buy the W1. Instead, I pointed people to the slightly more expensive Lumia 620 – but if you pressed ahead and snapped one of these up instead, what did you think of it? Hop into the forum and share your feels.
Source: Engadget Product Forums
Like Samsung, Nokia’s smartphone strategy has always been focused around choice. Sometimes this results in products that are so very similar that it’s impossible to tell the difference. That’s not an issue with Nokia’s Lumia 520, the ultra-budget device that was totally swallowed in the shadow of the 620. Sharif Sakr swaddled the phone in derision, criticizing its poor performance, bad camera, unevenly-lit display and poor build quality. For many of you, we imagine you wound up getting this handset for price reasons alone, so the question that we have to ask is simple: what did you like, what did you hate, and what would you have changed? You can shoot the breeze in our forum, or why not write a review of the phone yourself?
Internet calling is what Viber’s mostly known for these days, although the Rakuten-owned service does invest heavily in the messaging side of things, too. Hold & Talk (aka push-to-talk), for example, allows Viber users to send quick voice messages to each other, with the touch of a button. And now, nearly eight months after it came to iOS and Android, the feature is ready to grace Windows Phone 8 handsets. This means contacts can communicate between themselves almost instantly, in a Snapchat-like way but with voice messages rather than pictures. Viber also made some design changes to the application, which brings the looks of it more in line with Microsoft’s desired guidelines after that WP 8.1 software refresh. Your move, Skype.
A picture is worth a thousand words, which is good, because the above image is all we’ve got. The gadget industry’s person-in-the-know, evleaks, has posted what purports to be a shot of the LG Uni8, the company’s first Windows Phone 8 device. The Uni8 would also be the first LG Windows phone since 2010, back in the days of the Optimus 7 and AT&T’s Quantum. Given that the platform is struggling in the US and Asia, not to mention Microsoft’s newly-minted purchase of Nokia, it seems an odd time for LG to leap back into the fold — not that we’re complaining, mind.
Via: The Next Web
When Nokia launched the Lumia 620, it looked as if the company had perfected the formula for what an entry-level smartphone should be. The hardware and performance was great despite the slow internals, Windows Phone 8 worked well and it was priced to move. A year later and the Moto G may have supplanted this as your go-to budget device, but we want to know your feeling on what the last 12 months with the 620 has been like. What do you love, what do you hate, and what would you change?
Source: Engadget Product Forums
It seems like forever ago that HTC was making Windows Phone devices, but it’s not even been a year. HTC’s 8X earned plenty of praise for the fantastic performance, build and battery life – not to mention the display and camera. The downside, of course, was Windows Phone 8, which, at the time, was still too young to hit the spot for our tame phone reviewers. But what about you? We guess that plenty of you would have picked up this phone, so share with us your experiences and what, if anything, you would have changed.
Source: Engadget Forums
It’s been a long time coming, but Skype’s revealed that folks can finally sign up for service using a Microsoft account. Skype believes this feature is perfect for users who perhaps want the least amount of logins possible, and it also points to Microsoft’s two-step verification as a benefit for having such an account. Meanwhile, the Windows Phone app has been updated with a number of security improvements, plus an indicator which lets you know when the person on the other side is typing. As part of the integration with its parent company, Skype will now require a Microsoft account (like the one used to set up your WP device) when registering for a new account through the application. This new version is only available for Windows Phone 8, however — as you might recall, support for the app on earlier versions of the OS was cut off months ago.
Via: The Next Web
BlackBerry is slowly, but surely covering all its bases in an effort to turn BBM into a cross-platform messaging monster. The quest to return the standard-bearer to its former glory started with iOS and Android, but this summer it’ll be coming to Windows Phones as well. According to the Canadian company, it will ship with all the same functionality as its counterparts on other OSes, including stickers and voice. More importantly though, BBM Groups (which allows you to chat with up to 50 people at once) and Channels will be included as BlackBerry works to fight off challenges from the likes of WhatsApp and Hangouts. Sadly those are all the details we have for now, but hopefully Waterloo will lock down a release date sooner, rather than later.
It may not be the biggest news to come out of Redmond in recent hours. Still, the Windows faithful will no doubt be interested to hear about a licensing agreement involving two pretty notable outfits. Today, Foursquare announced it has struck a deal with Microsoft to use its location data in Bing services and Windows-powered devices. This, naturally, includes search and maps for Bing; and, for Windows, phones, tablets, laptops and desktops — and yes, convertibles too. In a statement, Foursquare notes that, “in the near future,” Microsoft will be utilizing the newly acquired license to enhance its products with “contextually-aware experiences and the best recommendations of any service in the world.” That’s not it, however, as Foursquare also revealed Microsoft has invested ($15 million) into its socially-driven company, which it says will help the service continue to grow and be accessible by more people.