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Leaked People Sense app by Microsoft launches on Windows Phone as SquadWatch

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The People Sense Windows Phone app leaked just a couple of days ago, and now it’s gone live in Microsoft’s mobile app store. However, it’s done so under a different name. The app is called SquadWatch, though its functions are unchanged.

Internally codenamed Buddy Aware, SquadWatch is basically a location sharing app for groups of people. It’s bidirectional, so the users you add won’t see your location unless you can also see theirs. Read more »

Microsoft working on People Sense app friend tracking capability for Windows Phone

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Microsoft is working on a new friend tracking feature in an upcoming app – People Sense for the Windows Phone devices and is internally referred as Buddy Aware.

With this app, Windows Phone owners will be able to share their location in real time with their friends and family. Read more »

Dropbox’s official Windows Phone app updated with the ability to create and manage shared folders

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Dropbox has updated its official Windows Phone app to version 1.1. The update brings along the ability to create and manage Shared Folders within the app, as well as some bug fixes.

The update is relatively minor, although the ability to manage Shared Folders, which are ideal for groups of people who would like to collaborate on the same files together, is definitely useful. Read more »

Double-height live tiles may not be present in final release of Windows 10 for phones

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The Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones introduces a few obvious new features, yet there are some hidden gems inside too. One of those is support for double-height live tiles – 2×4 (vertical rectangle form factor) or 4×4, respectively. However, to use those app developers need to explicitly enable them, which is why they aren’t on every Windows Phone Start screen already.

But they very well may get there in time. Only there’s a problem. Apparently Microsoft itself still isn’t entirely sure whether it will leave support for such tall tiles in the final build for Windows 10 for phones. Read more »

New Cortana ads by Microsoft focus on Valentine’s Day

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With Valentine’s Day almost upon us, Microsoft decided to release a couple of new promotional videos for Cortana, its very own virtual personal assistant. As you’d expect given the Valentine’s Day theme, the ads are all about love. The Lumia 635 smartphone is featured in them too, though oddly with a Microsoft logo replacing Nokia’s.

In the first video, one man is happy that despite having broken up with his girlfriend around Valentine’s, which isn’t fun, he’s quickly managed to find someone new. Not only that, but he’s apparently blown away by how well she knows him. Read more »

Microsoft confirms Windows 10 for phones will support both the new Start background and the old Tiles wallpaper

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Microsoft introduced a new type of desktop background in Windows 10 for phones – the wallpaper now spreads over the background space, while the tiles become transparent so you can enjoy the picture behind them.

While this new options was welcomed by lots of people, some of the users still preferred the Windows Phone 8.1 way where the image you’ve selected was displayed on the tiles instead of behind. It was quite a cool and unique feature. Read more »

Nokia’s Here for Windows Phone and Android gets updated map data

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Today Nokia has announced a new map data update for its Here apps for Windows Phone and Android. This isn’t an app update per se, but rather an update to the underlying information that the apps use. So if you’ve downloaded maps in Here for offline use, you’ll need to update those to get all the new perks. Otherwise, if you’re only using Here in online mode, you’ll see the changes automatically.

You should get an update notification at some point, regardless of which mobile platform you use. Of course you can also manually trigger the download by going to Here’s settings (on Android) or, on Windows Phone, to Settings > Applications > Maps. Read more »

New Microsoft sweepstakes lets you win a pair of Lumia 830 smartphones

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Microsoft is celebrating the Valentine’s month by running a new sweepstakes, dubbed 28 Days of #LumiaLove, that will see three lucky winners walk away with a pair of Lumia 830 smartphones each.

To participate, all you have to do is to head to the official Lumia US Facebook page, fill in your details, and tell the company why do you want to have a Lumia device (in case you don’t have one), or what you love the most about your device (in case you’re already a Lumia owner). Read more »

Cortana update brings a new Lifestyle interest with Fitness Tracker

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Just a couple of days after there were reports that Microsoft will soon integrate Cortana into its Office productivity suite the Redmond-based company has updated its digital assistant with a new interest category.

Dubbed Lifestyle, the category contains a Fitness Tracker that claims it will “keep up with your workouts.” The update seems to be rolling out slowly, as not everyone has received it yet. Read more »

Windows 10 double-height live tiles accidentally revealed by a Microsoft employee

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While there have been numerous reports about double height live tiles in the recent past, we never got a real-world glimpse of the feature in action, but that was until now.

A Microsoft employee by the name of Vesku Paananen tweeted a picture (see above) showing a variety of systems running Windows 10. Apparently, he didn’t realize that the image also contained a phone with a double height live tile. Read more »

#TileArt by Microsoft will help you customize your Windows Phone homescreen

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Microsoft launched a dedicated app to help Windows Phone 8.1 users customize their device’s homescreen. Dubbed #TileArt, the free app is currently available in the Windows Phone marketplace.

#TileArt will allow users to pin any image or photo to the homescreen of their smartphone. Read more »

Nokia Conference app for Windows Phone becomes Join Conference, gains Cortana support

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The latest Nokia product for Windows Phone to lose the Nokia branding is the app formerly known as Nokia Conference. From now on, it will live on as Join Conference. The name change has been made official through its latest update, which is now up for grabs in the Windows Phone app store.

The new name isn’t the only change, however. Join Conference has received support for Cortana, which means you can now simply say “join conference” and Cortana will do its magic for you. Read more »

Microsoft is giving away a free Lumia 435 for every Lumia 535 buyer in Italy this Valentine’s Day

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Slowly, but surely, we’re starting to hear more and more about this year’s Valentine’s Day offers and deals. The latest such promotion to get unearthed comes from Italy, where Microsoft is preparing a pretty sweet deal.

If you buy a Lumia 535 from February 4 to February 15, you’ll get a free Lumia 435. This is however limited to Italy, so if you’re not there, you can’t take advantage of the offer. Read more »

Octa-core Windows 10 phones expected to arrive soon

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January 21 marked an important milestone for Microsoft as the Windows 10 Next chapter event took place and revealed an amazing amount of new information concerning the future of the popular OS on both desktop and portable devices. One of the things that became abundantly clear is that us tech giant is really making progress and investing in its new One Windows philosophy.

Windows 10 on smartphones and tablets will essentially share the core of the full distribution and more importantly will support a uniform app ecosystem that allows the same applications to be used seamlessly across the entire range of Windows 10-powered devices. This is all very exciting, but even though Microsoft cleared the smoke around a lot of aspects of the new OS there are still some pressing questions of availability and future devices. As we have already reported, the new OS will surely be available for the Microsoft Lumia 435, 735 and 930 and if Microsoft keeps its word, most other current Lumia devices as well. This is an admirable decision, but we can’t help that the Microsoft mobile family is severely lacking on flagship models lately. Luckily this might change pretty soon. Read more »

Bill Gates working on a Personal Agent project at Microsoft

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When Bill Gates stepped down as Microsoft chairman last year, he vowed to “substantially” increase the time he spends at the company, with a particular focus on “ambitious scenarios,” though he didn’t reveal what exactly he would be doing. However, in an Ask Me Anything question and answer session on Reddit yesterday, Gates revealed that he is currently working on a project dubbed Personal Agent.

“One project I am working on with Microsoft is the Personal Agent which will remember everything and help you go back and find things and help you pick what things to pay attention to,” he said. “The idea that you have to find applications and pick them and they each are trying to tell you what is new is just not the efficient model – the agent will help solve this.” Read more »