The Notification Center in Windows Phone 8.1 is the hotspot where you’ll find text messages, email messages, social media updates and others congregating.
The Windows 8.1 rollout was the center piece of the show, but all eyes were on the personal digital assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, Cortana.
On February 10th, Microsoft sent out invites to select Windows developers regarding the Beta release of their Windows Phone 8.1 software development kit (SDK), which is the tool used to make apps. This was promptly leaked out, which pointed to a handful of features that can be expected when the update happens. Let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the prominent features that emerged from the leak. Just remember though that this is just a beta build and there are no guarantees that this will pan out exactly in the final version.
Spotify, Rhapsody and Google Play Music have done it before. Now it’s the turn of Dr. Dre’s headphone brand Beats to fix us up with a new style of personalized music subscription service. Called Beats Music, this new platform is expected to shake up the existing marketplace with its unique delivery of music to customers.
The Windows operating system has seen many iterations since its first launch. Its latest version, Windows 8.1 however has been performing less successfully than some of its previous counterparts and from what we can see from the statistics we can only say that they are so bad that we are already ready to talk about the next version, Windows 9.
If you don’t know Weave it is one of the best news reading apps available for Windows Phones. A beta for Weave has been out for two months but now the full version is out available for the public and has a lot of new features to talk about. The biggest is that now Weave can be enjoyed on Windows 8 which allows for syncing across platforms using Weave Cloud Services.
This new Weave Cloud API is a big change and is now powered by Windows Azure which is similar to Google Reader and Feedly. All your feeds and news are saved in the cloud and can be accessed through your Windows 8 phone or just on Windows 8. You can now login through Google, Twitter, Facebook or your Microsoft accounts. Everything is synced with all your devices, so if you star something on one device it will be starred on another.
Windows Phone has been picking up steam lately,launching the platform in China just yesterday and making headway as one of Nokia’s primary partners.
But when it comes to buying Windows Phone, the big hesitation for just about everyone is apps. Both the Android Market and the App Store have surpassed half a million apps each, but today Microsoft has an exciting (albeit smaller) bit of good news to share.
The Windows Phone Marketplace has topped 70,000 apps. That’s up from 50,000 in December and 60,000 in January.
Long-time Microsoft watchers like me are marveling at the company’s transformation. Slowly but surely, the siloed behemoth that once couldn’t get its desktop and mobile operating system teams to talk to each other is now starting to glide forward as one vast entity. The most visible refection of this sea change: design.
It’s no secret that, across Microsoft’s products, especially in software, there is now a single design language defined by reductionism, typography and unadorned shapes and colors. The look is called Metro, but if you think it only explains the look and feel of Windows 8, Windows Phone, Zune Marketplace and Xbox Live, you’d be wrong. As Microsoft designers explained during a recent and rather intimate panel discussion in Soho, Metro is a design philosophy with five core tenants that they say help drive product design and delivery throughout the Redmond, Washington company.