#96 BioWare Looks To Coverup The Anthem Meltdown

An interesting article came out from Kotaku today that reported on some pretty major upheavals and setbacks in the development for Anthem, then BioWare had to reply with a boilerplate PR stunt and the internet went nuts!

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Windows Phones are Missed by Users

Why We Miss Windows Phones

Windows phones are missed one way or another. Windows phone is one of the gadgets developed by Microsoft.

What Happened To The Windows Phones

It took several years for Microsoft to admit that Windows phone is dead. Microsoft’s mobile platform was being left behind. Its users found it hard to gain access to the apps that everyone else was using. And the company did not have any plans of releasing new hardware running its OS features or update it with any features.

The Beginnings Of Windows Phones

The Windows phone had its debut in 2010, with Microsoft’s Metro Design philosophy. Its focus was on glancing at your phone information, instead of digging in and out of apps. Two obvious features why we miss Windows Metro design phone are its Live Tiles and dark mode. After nearly 8 years that Windows phone introduced it, Android and iOS still do not have system-wide dark modes. Google gave up on it and recently shut down the dream of that happening outside Pixel 2.

Live Tiles

The Live Tiles are one of Windows phone’s unique features. They enable apps to show information on the home screen. This is similar to the widgets found on iOS and Android. All you have to do is to pin anything useful to the home screen. Live Tiles animated beautifully to flip over and provides whatever information that made your phone feel more personal and alive.

Other Features Of The Windows Phone

One of the neat features of the Windows phone is its software keyboard. It is still considered as far better than the defaults on Android and iOS. Microsoft has developed features on their Windows phone which still hasn’t found its way to Androids and iOS. Features like: Dedication search button; Browse address bar; Kid’s Corner; People hub; and Unified messaging.

These are features unique on Microsoft’s Windows phone. Precisely the reason why those who have used a Windows phone once in their life miss it today.

Despite of advances in technology, some people still long for the “classic” things. Those things which were simpler, uncomplicated to use. But sad to say, in reality, they tend to be left behind and later be disposed of. But we still have our memories of those gadgets of long ago though.

Siri Versus Cortana: The Ultimate AI Battle

There’s a new personal assistant in town by the name of Cortana. This friendly AI bot lives in your Windows Phone and helps manage your everyday life. Some of you may know Cortana from the Halo video game series, but the Cortana on your Windows phone, like the Nokia Lumia 521 or the Nokia Lumia 635, won’t be relaying tactical information to you. Instead, she’ll schedule appointments, set up reminders and even recommend restaurants in your area.

So you’re probably wondering what happened to Siri and who is better? The answer depends on what kind of personal assistant you prefer.

Siri: The First of Her Kind

Apple fans have grown to love Siri. They find her professional tone endearing and her response to life’s toughest questions simple yet brilliant. Furthermore, Siri is different from traditional voice-recognition software because she understands natural speech, according to Apple. The more you use Siri, the better she comprehends your accent and other voice quirks.

Before Cortana it was difficult to compare Siri to other AI programs because she really was the first of her kind. Now that Siri has a rival, it’s easier to see the AI’s shortcomings. Let’s face it, Siri is much better when it comes to career-oriented tasks such as reminding you of an upcoming office meeting or sending an email to a coworker.

To put it simply, Siri thrives on helping you get that next promotion or raise. When asked, “Who are you?” Siri responds with a no-nonsense answer of “I’m Siri. But enough about me . . . how can I help you?” She’s just not interested in having a conversation. If you want a personal assistant that understands punctuation when composing a message by voice or something that can send an email or start a call, then Siri is your best bet.

Cortana: The New Girl on the Block

Cortana, on the other hand, is best for users that want a personal assistant for their everyday lives. A comical Microsoft commercial illustrates what Cortana can do what Siri can’t. For instance, Cortana can remind you to call a friend when you get home or help you recall what you need from the grocery store. In addition, a TechRadar comparison shows how sluggish Siri is compared to Cortana. This AI also is more likely to strike up a conversation, says Engadget, which adds the human quality that Siri lacks.

Unlike Siri, Cortana won’t be part of the operating system. Instead, she will be a downloadable app on the Windows Phone 8.1, says ZDNet. Microsoft has been working on Cortana since 2011 and hopes that she will be the beginning of responsive PCs. Imagine a world where you can prompt your computer via voice command to print a report or fax a document. According to ZDNet, Microsoft is definitely working towards this revolutionary technology.

If you’re still having trouble deciding between Siri and Cortana, consider Gizmodo’s description of the new AI: “Cortana is powered by Bing and is a mix of Google Now’s prediction powers injected with some Siri-like personality, and she has a lovely voice.” If you’re a sucker for soft-spoken female voices and want a witty digital personal assistant that can help you juggle your social life, then Cortana is the AI for you.

Asha 311 by Nokia: Beauty is not only skin deep

Nokia has been struggling recently even with the release of their Lumia line. What they thought could be their savior ended up being just another release from the Finnish company.

Although they have not been very successful with their Lumia line of smartphones and the PureView, Nokia has still their feature phone Asha line of devices, which has been a relief of some sort for the company.

Nokia has not closed the chapter on their Asha line of devices. Some may call them as “dumb” phones, but individuals still purchase them and Nokia has seen massive success in this market.

Nokia is set to release a new device from their Asha line called the Asha 311.

The Asha 311 features a Corning Gorilla Glass with Polarizing filter, 1 GHz CPU with 26 MB of RAM, 3.15 MP rear facing camera with a VGA video recording function, Bluetooth v 2.1, standard microUSB port and Nokia store with about 40 EA games coming with the package for free.

Comparing the Asha 311 to a smartphone of your choice isn’t really ideal, since this was built towards the lower-tier market.

The Asha 311 is a good second or third phone for you since the Asha series of devices from Nokia has been tried and tested.

We can call the Asha 311 simplicity at its finest with a lot of punch!

Image Source: mynokiablog.com

Microsoft admits Skype has bugs

Voice Over IP service Skype is having trouble with their service as of late. According to reports, this four-week-old problem sends copies of some messages to unintended recipients.

Microsoft has confirmed the reports and said in a statement to Engadget, “We are aware that in rare circumstances IMs between two contacts could be sent to an unintended third contact. We are rolling out a fix for this issue in the next few days and will notify our users to download an updated version of Skype.”

The problem was initially reported on a Skype support forum by a user who was stunned as to why some of her contacts were receiving message she had sent to only a few contacts. Others followed her lead and reported that they experienced the same problem.

According to Skype, Skype versions 5.9 and 5.10 for Windows, Skype 5.8 for Mac, Skype 4.0 for Linux, 1.2 for Windows Phone, Skype 2.8 for Android and Skype 4.0 for iOS are vulnerable from these bugs.

Skype added in a blog post, “This issue occurs only when a user’s Skype client crashes during a Skype IM session, which many in some cases result in the last IM entered or sent prior to the crash being delivered to a different IM contact after the Skype client is rebooted or logged in as a new user.”

Be wary of this problem. You might send a raunchy message to your boss!

Image Source: thehacknews.com

Nokia ends the Lumia 900 with a cut

Perhaps one of the shortest life cycles in the history of smartphones belong to the highly talked about, then highly ignored Lumia 900. Nokia placed its hopes on their supposed flagship phone for the year, which is an update to the previous Lumia 800. With their stocks falling faster and faster, as new and better smartphones hit the market, they had to act, and act wisely. They did act, but not so wisely.

When Nokia announced that they were finally ready to do away with the Symbian operating system, in favor of a full-powered operating system, many people jumped at the idea of a Nokia Android device. Nokia has made a name for itself in creating lasting phones with amazing design perspectives, and that got people excited. The excitement ends as they learn that they favored a returning player in the Smartphone market: Windows Mobile.

Windows mobile has certainly been around for a while now, and it has been underwhelming. It didn’t pick up as much as iOS or Android did, and is mostly favored by loyalists. Still, the choice was wise at that time, as they sided with the group that still had a lot of potential to grow. It would also allow Nokia to differentiate themselves from all those who jumped Google’s way to get an Android device.

Just a little after the birth and adaptation of the Lumia 900, Nokia was faced with a painful slap. Their flagship device will soon be obsolete. Microsoft betrayed all hopes that the very new Lumia 900 will be receiving the Windows 8 treatment. We recall from a previous article that it will instead just receive an aesthetic update for Windows mobile 7.

Since then, it was obvious that the Lumia 900 was avoided like the plague. People got the idea that the life of all Windows 7 devices will end after the 7.8 update that will arrive once Windows Mobile 8 is here.

In an almost too obvious desperate move, Nokia has slashed the price of the Lumia 900 from $99 to $49 in the AT&T network. This price cut hopefully will spark some interest for consumers. Still, it will not change the fact that the device is not getting the Windows Mobile 8, and that people are now holding off until a suitable phone arrives. With a lock in period of 2 years, many would think twice about being stuck with an obsolete phone.

The Lumia 900 was just released last April this year. Nokia denies any claim of desperation, saying that this is a normal stage in the life cycle of the phone. If the message is analyzed further, you would notice that they actually did say the truth. It is a natural step in the life cycle of any phone to have a massive price cut, but that only happens when the phone is nearing the END of its life. Without even reaching a full quarter, the Lumia 900 was doomed to end. Making it cheaper might get some sales, but it will not be enough to gain popularity.

It is not to say that there won’t be anyone who will bite into this price cut. The economy is suffering, and a low price, yet capable phone like the Lumia 900 still has a place somewhere, even if that is in a cold dark corner.

If having the latest and greatest is of no concern for you, the Lumia 900 is as good as anyone can get at that price. Will you bite into the bait Nokia has laid out before you?

Image sources: infochat.com.ph, wpcentral.com, alltechnologynews.com

Nokia to roll out firmware updates for Lumia line of devices

Nokia is banking heavily on their Lumia line of handsets to bring glory back to their company. The Lumia line of smartphones is powered by Windows 7 operating system and is considered by many as a great smartphone for everyone.

Nokia announced that they are going to rollout firmware updates for three of their Lumia line handsets.

Nokia announced in their Nokia Connects blog that they are going to update the Luma 610, 710 and 900. It is surprising that the company didn’t include the Lumia 800 in their firmware upgrade. Though the company announced that they will be upgrading the set of smartphones, the company failed to announce when these updates will be available to consumers.

Updates for the Lumia 900 version 2175.2101.8779.12201 will include enhanced sensitivity for proximity sensor performance and improved screen colors in low light conditions for your smartphone.

For the Lumia 710 version, 1600.3031.8779.12180 will be Internet sharing. This will  enable your Lumia 710 to share Internet connection to up to 5 devices.

The Lumia 610 version 1066.0000.8779.12201 will have better sensitivity for proximity sensor performance and improved sound level for alarm tone during voice calls.

Lumia owners will get a pop up notice once updates for their Lumia’s will be available.

Image Source: technoodling.net

Firefox Mobile OS will work with most apps

In a report published by TechRadar, Product and Innovation Director at Telefonica, Carlos Domingo, says that survey results show that Firefox Mobile OS is going to do good when it comes to apps for their operating system.

According to Domingo, “results from our survey showed that over 75% of all apps in Google Play and the Apple AppStore are written in HTML 5, which makes them really easy to port over to Firefox.”

This could be good for Mozilla and app developers because the latter will have an easier time in making their apps compatible with Firefox Mobile OS.

Firefox Mobile OS is a web-based HTML 5 platform. App developers who have browser-based apps will be happy upon knowing that their system will work with the HTML 5 platform easily.

Facebook will also be unveiling their HTML 5 app along with Twitter. The two are considered to be two of the most popular apps in the market today. With the impending release of the HTML 5 versions, this will be integrated deeply into the upcoming Firefox Mobile OS.

Firefox Mobile OS will be entering a market that is being dominated by iOS and Android. They would also have to face the aggressive Windows platform and the impending release of the BlackBerry 10 OS.

Are you excited with Mozilla’s Firefox Mobile OS?

Image Source:hotcellularphone.com

Nokia hinting a silent step towards Android?

With the Lumia 900 going sour so quickly and prompting, a lot of users to move on to other brands, Nokia is certainly feeling the pressure of sticking to a partner that does not care about OEM manufacturers. In the latest announcement by their so called partner, Microsoft is not planning to release Windows 8 or any “basic” version of it to devices older than the actual Windows 8 operating system. What’s left to the users is a Windows Mobile 7.8 that tries its best to look like a Windows 8 device.

Microsoft further loses popularity as it announced the release of a “vaporware” product they call the “Surface”. Releasing a product that cannot be sold yet, with an OS that cannot be used yet, seems like a very feeble attempt at trying to generate interest and buzz for the upcoming operating system. They certainly did not do Nokia any favors by not warning them of not releasing a phone that would become obsolete in a matter of months.

Nokia has been questioned as of late at what they would eventually do if Windows 8 becomes another flop in the mobile space, or if it just doesn’t get adopted in the long run. The question is met with a very vague reply that Nokia has a contingency plan in case the Hail Mary pass misses.

So even themselves don’t have complete faith in Windows 8. More so, since Microsoft certainly doesn’t seem to plan to do them any favors. So, what do you think they have in store if the plan fails? Many would think of only one alternative that should have been done long ago: Android.

Sure, the world of Android manufacturers is packed, but there are always those comments in the forums saying that they wish they had Nokia’s hardware with Google’s software. There are still those that believe in Nokia’s designs. Truth be told, when I heard that Symbian would be abandoned, I jumped at the idea of Android on a Nokia phone.  Still, we all know which way they turned.

Although I always had faith that Nokia is cooking up some Android devices in a secret lab somewhere, I was recently kind of hoping that they do succeed with Windows 8. There are simply too many Android devices already, and fragmentation is a huge problem. They don’t need to add to the problem right now. Windows 8 actually provides a much needed source of competition that would stir the two-way battle between Apple and Google manufacturers. Maybe they would stop bickering in court long enough to actually be more efficient and product-focused so that Microsoft won’t overshadow them with their grand plan. That may be wishful thinking, but then again, dreaming is for free.

For the moment, Nokia is still clinging on to dear life. While they may have options in other forms of business, Nokia is all about phones. The best they can do now is to learn from their mistake and actually work closer into making sure that Windows 8 will integrate successfully into their devices. Who knows? They might actually make a really large wave in the smartphone world if they play their cards right.

What about you, dear readers? Do you think Nokia should jump ship again and join the Android horde? Or do you think that Nokia’s destiny is to be a Windows Phone powerhouse?

Image sources: electricpig.co.uk, moby-tech.com, androidheadlines.com, wish21.deviantart.com

Windows Phone 8 Will Not Run On Existing Phones

Windows Phone 8 is coming very soon. The bad thing is that the new operating system will not run on all existing Windows Phones. The smartphone operating system was launched earlier on this week.

This new development will lead to reduced sales of the existing window phones. This is expected to be a problem to Nokia, as it has been making the Lumia smartphones running the windows operating system. However this operating system is expected to be upgraded to Windows 7.5. The sales will definitely reduce, as new buyers will seek to wait and have the Windows Phone 8 when they are eventually released. This will adversely affect Nokia’s revenues, as they are heavily relying on the Windows Phones to shore up their profits. Nokia, just like Blackberry, have faced a lot of competition from Samsung and Apple in the smartphones market.

The reason that will make the existing phones not upgradable to the Windows 8 is that they run single core processors. Microsoft wants the Windows 8 to run on multi core processors and also on devices that have a superior screen resolution so as to support a wide range of gaming and video applications.

The new Windows 8 platform will not be exclusive for Nokia but will also be used by Samsung, LG, HTC and Huawei. The Windows 8 operating system will be at the same level with android and iOS systems. What will be an addition to the Windows Phone 8 will be an expandable memory card since the other smartphones do not have the SD slots.

Would you buy the new Windows Phone 8 now that Windows 8 are coming?

Image source:  hitechanalogy.com