This week has been quite interesting in the world of Microsoft. We've covered a lot over the past week and chances are you most likely missed an important piece of news. Let's take a look back in a feature we call "Weekend Recap," highlighting the popular stories from the past week.
It looks like Microsoft is gearing up to release a build of Windows 10 for Windows Phone devices. This past week, a new app titled Phone Insider appeared in the Windows Phone Store, which "provides registered Windows Insiders the ability to receive pre-release OS updates on their phone, directly from Microsoft." Right now, normal insiders are unable to sign into the app, as it's currently only available for internal Microsoft employees.
You will soon be able to take photos faster and with HDR using the new camera app for Windows Phone. These incoming camera improvements to the Lumia 930 and Lumia 1520 were shown off at CES 2015. Speaking of the Lumia 930, Microsoft is selling this smartphone in a gold color in China and other reigons -- the Lumia 830 is available in gold too.
According to PornHub’s statistics, from 2013 to 2014, the website saw an amazing 52.3% increase in traffic being served to Windows Phone devices. While that number sounds impressive, Windows Phone devices on PornHub only account for 2.6% of total mobile traffic.
Earlier this week, Verizon Wireless pulled all of its Lumia smartphones from the Verizon Wireless website. Apparently, Verizon is 'temporarily sold out' of all Lumia Windows Phone devices.
Tubecast, a third party client for YouTube, got an significant update this past week, adding faster app start-up, new DLNA Smart TV support, and more. Gameloft's Pastry Paradise hit the Windows Phone Store this past week, giving gamers yet another puzzle game to toy with. VLC for Windows Phone kept receiving updates this past week, fixing bugs and crash issues. Telegram Messenger also got an update, receiving custom sounds for push-notifications and more.
According to a new report from Kantar, Windows Phone market share has hit a new low as Microsoft struggles to compete with Google and Apple.
Microsoft released a new app to their Windows Phone Store dubbed Social News. Social News is designed to allow users to share local events with people around them as well as post their own stories for people located in their general vicinity to read.
Earlier this week, Yezz announced a new Windows Phone, the Yezz Billy 5S LTE. This device features a 5-inch 720P HD screen, LTE, a 1.2 GHz Quad core processor, and Dual-SIM technology. The Yezz Billy 5S LTE has 8 GB of phone storage with 1 GB RAM, with a 5 MP front-facing camera and a 13 MP rear camera.
And finally, Microsoft says they haven't forgotten about Office for Windows Phone. Microsoft plans to reveal more later this year and promises 'an incredible Office experience is on the way."
CES 2015 took place this past week and several new and exciting Windows PCs were unveiled. You can read our top-five picks here.
Dell unveiled a new XPS 13 that has very little bezel, Intel announced a $149 Compute Stick which runs Windows and Linux, MSI announced a range of new Windows 8.1 gaming laptops and all-in-ones, Lenovo announced a host of new Windows-powered laptops, hybrids and tablets, and much more. You can check out our entire CES 2015 coverage here.
Microsoft's products and services
Microsoft is testing a new feature where you can save your Outlook email attachments directly to your OneDrive account. The new feature is only available to some users and has not been rolled out to all Outlook users as of yet, but hopefully the new feature will be released system-wide soon.
OneDrive for iOS was updated this past week with push notifications and recycle bin support, bug fixes, and much more. Microsoft also promises a single sync engine in OneDrive by end of 2015, to bring a consistent experience across platforms.
Office Online has also added new improvements and features to help the blind and poor-vision users make their way around the application. Microsoft's Azure continues to deliver more security, scale, and simplicity with new updates announced this past week.
Microsoft has stepped into predictive policing by helping create a solution for crime prevention and counterterrorism. Thanks to advances in data analytics and machine learning, we can use data to help prevent crime through more effective and efficient resource allocation.
Microsoft released its first foray into wearable computing, the Microsoft Band, nearly two months ago, and now the health and fitness device received it's first update, with an assist from the Microsoft Health app.
Microsoft has further expanded the preview of Office on Android. Microsoft announced they're expanding Office for Android tablet preview for all Android users with an ARM-based tablet running Kitkat or Lollipop, and have a screen size between 7 and 10.1-inches. This will definitely help the company to decide what features users are looking for the most, and how they can improve it before the stable version is released in the Google Play Store.
The weeks biggest stories
"Rudy Huyn offered Snapchat the source code for his third-party app, 6snap. 6snap and other third-party Snapchat clients were removed from the Windows Phone Store on December 20th, further frustrating Windows Phone owners that no official Snapchat app has been released."
Read this great editorial from Joseph Finney as to why he chooses Windows Phone over Android or iOS everyday.