Tag Archives: Phone

Alcatel Pop 2 the first 64-bit Windows Phone

Published by at 14:49 UTC, September 9th 2014

Seen at IFA, the Alcatel Pop 2 is a Windows Phone 8.1 version of the Android handset of the same name, with 4.5″ 854×480 resolution screen and 1GB of RAM. Crucially, it comes with the Snapdragon 410 processor, making it 64-bit (and not 32-bit). Other specs are modest, with 8GB storage plus microSD, and a ‘4MP’ camera (an odd figure!). LTE is present though, plus the Pop 2 is quoted at only 119 Euros, making it rather good value.

WMPU broke the news:

Pop 2

To the benefit of the Windows Phone, this means the device comes with 1 GB RAM as standard, despite only having a 4.5 inch FWVGA screen, and the latest Snapdragon 410 processor running at 1.2 Ghz, which in fact means it is the first Windows Phone with a 64 bit processor and the Adreno 306 GPU.

The device otherwise features 8GB storage, a 4 megapixel rear camera with LED flash, VGA front camera, 2000 mAh battery and most importantly LTE support, which for the 119 Euro price point makes it a steal over the Nokia Lumia 635, which is 40 euro more expensive.

The handset is 9.9mm thick and weighs 147g and will be available in white, blue, purple, green, red and yellow. It will also be available in Dual-SIM.

The Android version has capacitive controls in that large bottom bezel and it seems that the Windows Phone version simply omits these – with the on-screen controls now, the device looks a bit unbalanced. Given that the (right number of) capacitive control spots were already in place, could they not have been re-used, changing the functions/assignments as needed?

All a little odd, plus it’s unknown at this point quite what difference a 64 bit processor will make to Windows Phone, especially down at this low end of the spectrum.

There’s a video demo, too, by Drwindows.de and in German:

Source / Credit: WMPU

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Link of Interest, Hardware
 

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.


All About Windows Phone

Alcatel Pop 2 the first 64-bit Windows Phone

Published by at 14:49 UTC, September 9th 2014

Seen at IFA, the Alcatel Pop 2 is a Windows Phone 8.1 version of the Android handset of the same name, with 4.5″ 854×480 resolution screen and 1GB of RAM. Crucially, it comes with the Snapdragon 410 processor, making it 64-bit (and not 32-bit). Other specs are modest, with 8GB storage plus microSD, and a ‘4MP’ camera (an odd figure!). LTE is present though, plus the Pop 2 is quoted at only 119 Euros, making it rather good value.

WMPU broke the news:

Pop 2

To the benefit of the Windows Phone, this means the device comes with 1 GB RAM as standard, despite only having a 4.5 inch FWVGA screen, and the latest Snapdragon 410 processor running at 1.2 Ghz, which in fact means it is the first Windows Phone with a 64 bit processor and the Adreno 306 GPU.

The device otherwise features 8GB storage, a 4 megapixel rear camera with LED flash, VGA front camera, 2000 mAh battery and most importantly LTE support, which for the 119 Euro price point makes it a steal over the Nokia Lumia 635, which is 40 euro more expensive.

The handset is 9.9mm thick and weighs 147g and will be available in white, blue, purple, green, red and yellow. It will also be available in Dual-SIM.

The Android version has capacitive controls in that large bottom bezel and it seems that the Windows Phone version simply omits these – with the on-screen controls now, the device looks a bit unbalanced. Given that the (right number of) capacitive control spots were already in place, could they not have been re-used, changing the functions/assignments as needed?

All a little odd, plus it’s unknown at this point quite what difference a 64 bit processor will make to Windows Phone, especially down at this low end of the spectrum.

There’s a video demo, too, by Drwindows.de and in German:

Source / Credit: WMPU

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Link of Interest, Hardware
 

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.


All About Windows Phone

Polaroid gets in on the Windows Phone 8.1 act…

Published by at 8:37 UTC, September 9th 2014

Shrouded in either mystery or (more likely) obscurity, Polaroid (yes, the camera and film company) appears to have launched yet another low cost OEM Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone. Dubbed the WinPro 5.0, the specifications are fairly familiar, being based on the existing Microsoft/Qualcomm reference design for Windows Phone 8.1. Is there a special imaging focus, given the name? Nope. But the more the merrier, eh?

From the WinTouch site (in German, here machine translated):

Somewhat hidden on the IFA, we were able to discover a small stand of Polaroid and consult the somewhat grumpy representative also for their Windows Phone. Yes, actually we discovered they do a Windows Phone smartphone:

Polaroid WinPro 5

Since the smartphone in its system info doesn’t give much away and called itself “JSRTECH I7B” we dig a little more. Specifications shall be as follows:

  • Name: WinPro 5.0
  • 8 GB of memory
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 MP main camera
  • 2 MP front camera
  • 1.3 Ghz Quad Core processor (doubtful)
  • 2400 mAh battery
  • Dual Sim Function
  • 5 inch IPS display with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution

As to availability, it’s next month (October 2014). Priced to cost less than 200 €. 

Although patently built to a price and with unremarkable screen (judging from the video and images), the combination of those baseline specs and Windows Phone 8.1 should nevertheless produce something that’s very usable. It’ll come down to fit and finish, to how good or bad the screen, camera and speaker are, and of course to street price in the developing markets it’s aimed at.

Polaroid WinPro 5

Source / Credit: WinTouch

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Hardware
 

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.


All About Windows Phone

Instant for Android Wear: Instagram lovers rejoice! You can now browse through your feed without getting out your phone [‘Watch’ This App]

If you like so many of us are an Instagram addict and lament the fact that there’s no good Instagram app for smartwatches, then get excited because Instant for Android Wear has come to the rescue. Gone are the days of having to pull out our phones whenever we want to scroll endlessly through our… Read more »

The post Instant for Android Wear: Instagram lovers rejoice! You can now browse through your feed without getting out your phone [‘Watch’ This App] appeared first on SmarterWatching.

Read the rest at SmarterWatching.com!


AndroidGuys

Classic calculators refreshed in utility upgrade for Windows Phone

Published by at 12:28 UTC, September 3rd 2014

Previously ‘Casio’ and then ‘Nokia Scientific’, as prefixes, this utility has now settled on, simply, ‘Classic Calculator’ for its big new version 1.2. If, like me, you had an affinity for a specific calculator that got you through school, then take a look below and see if this rings any bells. And all on your Windows Phone.

From the current Store description:

Powerful simulator of the classic calculators for Nokia and Windows Phone terminals. With advanced features and very easy to use.

* Percentages
* Memories
* Trig functions in degrees, radians or grads
* Scientific.
* Skins
* Sounds
* Vibration

And, in case you’d been following this application through previous iterations, here’s what’s new:

  • Added a free calc version.
  • Key sound selection
  • New window with new changes info
  • Min key is fixed
  • Key sound is now on press tap
  • Added copy to clipboard

The end result is rather spooky to see on your phone screen, especially given the form factor similarities between these calculators and modern portrait-mode smartphones. 

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

The graphical maps/skins are impressive, and 99% of functions just… work, as on the original devices.

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

On the menu are links to all the other calculators and skins; (right) Hello Kitty, anyone?

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

Something basic and office-like, and something deliberately ‘cheap and Chinese'(!)

The developer does say that there’s still work to do, namely:

  • implement arithmetic precedence operators
  • fix grades button
  • fix parenthesis button
  • support for new screen resolutions
  • add new modes/skins

A terrific work in progress and a jolly useful trip down memory lane. You can grab Classic Calculator in the Store here.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Apps
 

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.


All About Windows Phone

Classic calculators refreshed in utility upgrade for Windows Phone

Published by at 12:28 UTC, September 3rd 2014

Previously ‘Casio’ and then ‘Nokia Scientific’, as prefixes, this utility has now settled on, simply, ‘Classic Calculator’ for its big new version 1.2. If, like me, you had an affinity for a specific calculator that got you through school, then take a look below and see if this rings any bells. And all on your Windows Phone.

From the current Store description:

Powerful simulator of the classic calculators for Nokia and Windows Phone terminals. With advanced features and very easy to use.

* Percentages
* Memories
* Trig functions in degrees, radians or grads
* Scientific.
* Skins
* Sounds
* Vibration

And, in case you’d been following this application through previous iterations, here’s what’s new:

  • Added a free calc version.
  • Key sound selection
  • New window with new changes info
  • Min key is fixed
  • Key sound is now on press tap
  • Added copy to clipboard

The end result is rather spooky to see on your phone screen, especially given the form factor similarities between these calculators and modern portrait-mode smartphones. 

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

The graphical maps/skins are impressive, and 99% of functions just… work, as on the original devices.

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

On the menu are links to all the other calculators and skins; (right) Hello Kitty, anyone?

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

Something basic and office-like, and something deliberately ‘cheap and Chinese'(!)

The developer does say that there’s still work to do, namely:

  • implement arithmetic precedence operators
  • fix grades button
  • fix parenthesis button
  • support for new screen resolutions
  • add new modes/skins

A terrific work in progress and a jolly useful trip down memory lane. You can grab Classic Calculator in the Store here.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Apps
 

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.


All About Windows Phone

Classic calculators refreshed in utility upgrade for Windows Phone

Published by at 12:28 UTC, September 3rd 2014

Previously ‘Casio’ and then ‘Nokia Scientific’, as prefixes, this utility has now settled on, simply, ‘Classic Calculator’ for its big new version 1.2. If, like me, you had an affinity for a specific calculator that got you through school, then take a look below and see if this rings any bells. And all on your Windows Phone.

From the current Store description:

Powerful simulator of the classic calculators for Nokia and Windows Phone terminals. With advanced features and very easy to use.

* Percentages
* Memories
* Trig functions in degrees, radians or grads
* Scientific.
* Skins
* Sounds
* Vibration

And, in case you’d been following this application through previous iterations, here’s what’s new:

  • Added a free calc version.
  • Key sound selection
  • New window with new changes info
  • Min key is fixed
  • Key sound is now on press tap
  • Added copy to clipboard

The end result is rather spooky to see on your phone screen, especially given the form factor similarities between these calculators and modern portrait-mode smartphones. 

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

The graphical maps/skins are impressive, and 99% of functions just… work, as on the original devices.

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

On the menu are links to all the other calculators and skins; (right) Hello Kitty, anyone?

Screenshot, Classic CalculatorScreenshot, Classic Calculator

Something basic and office-like, and something deliberately ‘cheap and Chinese'(!)

The developer does say that there’s still work to do, namely:

  • implement arithmetic precedence operators
  • fix grades button
  • fix parenthesis button
  • support for new screen resolutions
  • add new modes/skins

A terrific work in progress and a jolly useful trip down memory lane. You can grab Classic Calculator in the Store here.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Apps
 

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.


All About Windows Phone

Windows Phone 8.1 apps/multitasking FAQ

Published by at 15:50 UTC, September 2nd 2014

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, it seems, and my attempt at simplifying the situation in terms of applications and Windows Phone 8.1 multitasking/optimisation was rightly picked at by a number of developers, who live and breathe this stuff. So I got in touch with one of them, Sarah Fegert, and asked some of the more pertinent FAQ-style questions….

[My questions to Sarah, obviously, are in bold]

I gather there’s no one single ‘type’ of Windows Phone application – how many ways are there to develop for the platform?

SarahQuite a few! Most Windows Phone 7 and 8 apps were developed using a framework called “Silverlight”. What Microsoft has been doing over the last years is gradually converge the development tools and app types of Windows RT and Windows Phone into a single one. These new apps are called “Store” apps, and allow developers to write apps that run on both Windows and Windows Phone.

But to keep developers with existing apps happy, Microsoft also introduced “Silverlight 8.1”, essentially a turbocharged Silverlight, allowing existing Windows Phone apps to use most of the new features in Windows Phone 8.1.

What difference has it made for developers having Windows Phone 8.1 arrive? And, overall, is it an improvement (for developers)?

8.1 has been an incredible step forward. Windows Phone 8.0 was very restricted in what developers could do. Just one example: Most fitness trackers and smart gadgets use a technique called Bluetooth Smart to connect with your phone with minimal battery drain. Bluetooth Smart wasn’t available in Windows Phone 8, even though iOS and Android had it for years. So, Windows Phone 8.1 introduced a number of features that developers had demanded for a long time – features that often were available on competing platforms. Many of the new apps we’ve been seeing over the last weeks (FitBit, Hotel Tonight, Files, etc.) are a direct result of giving developers these tools.

My recent piece bemoaning imperfect application resumption got people talking. These being multi-GHz devices, what’s stopping every application from being quick to start and/or resume? What showstoppers are in the way?

The fundamental constraint is memory (RAM). To load an app and render the UI, the operating system needs to allocate some memory for the app, typically between 50-100 MB. When you leave an app (but don’t close it), the app stops doing anything, but remains in memory, and as long as it remains in memory, it resumes instantly when you switch back to it. What happens when you use too many apps is that the operating system would eventually run out of memory, and to prevent that from happening, it selects one or more of the suspended apps and shuts them down, freeing memory. This process is usually called tombstoning on Windows Phone. Now, obviously, tombstoned apps aren’t in memory anymore – so next time you switch back to them, the OS needs to reload the app and restore the previous state. When that happens, the user sees the dreaded “resuming…” screen. There is not really much that developers can do to prevent this from happening.

Even on the 2GB Lumia 1020, 1520, Icon and 930, just as many apps seem to end up being ‘resumed’ as on the lower RAM devices. Is Windows Phone 8.1 perhaps not using all the RAM efficiently? Is there some kind of ‘no go’ area, reserved for system or imaging use?
There are a few things to consider here actually. Firstly, because these devices have  much higher screen-resolutions, apps require more RAM. The exact factor varies between apps, but, for example, rendering a full-screen, full-resolution image on a 1520 uses 6x as much RAM as rendering a full-screen, full-resolution image on the 630. Secondly, as you say, some of the memory is reserved for system use. Thirdly, the performance of the storage (internal or SD card) may also affect how long an app takes to resume. 

Subjectively, I see less resuming screens on my 1520 than on other devices – and seeing how fluid the user experience is on my 630, Microsoft has done an excellent job optimizing resource usage, in particular if you look at how badly Android runs on low-end devices.

On these quad core multi-GHz devices, why does resuming (reloading from tombstoned state) take so long? I’d have thought reloading a (say) 50MB footprint app from internal flash memory would take well under a second, yet some apps (Skype, Twitter) seem to take much, much longer. Is this the fault of the apps or current limitations in the OS?
How fast apps resume would mostly depend on the specs of the phone. When apps are at fault, it’s usually down to not rendering a screen to the user until they’ve loaded some data from the internet or local storage. Developers can use a number of solutions to avoid this problem.

Anecdotally, I’ve never ever had Twitter ‘resuming’ for more than one second, from a Lumia 520 all the way to a 1520. Usually it’s less than half a second. I wonder if there’s a bug somewhere…)

Do Microsoft’s own applications have any special privileges, or are they in the same boat as third party apps?

They certainly do – the operating system decides which app gets shut down when the phone is low on memory. Since users are very likely to use the Start Screen or the Email app, the operating system would typically try to shut down other apps first.

AppCauldronBy the way, this is another area where the update to Windows Phone 8.1 really changed things. Apps used to have a fixed amount of RAM allocated – typically 150 MB – even if the app used only a fraction of that. Now, the memory allocated is much closer to what the app actually uses. In theory, this should improve multitasking. For example, on Windows Phone 8.0 when our users took a picture during their run on a low memory device, Track Runner would be tombstoned and the run interrupted. This is no longer an issue with the new memory allocation of WP 8.1.  

What’s your view on transitions? Do you think Microsoft should offer a way to disable them, to speed up the WP UI?

Microsoft says that transitions don’t slow down the UI, and this matches my personal experience. Within the app, transitions are optional but they make up much of the Windows Phone feel, so apps without transitions feel rather alien to the platform.

_________________

Many thanks to Sarah Fegert, one of the co-founders of The App Cauldron, Inc, the development team behind the award-winning WP-exclusive running app Track Runner.

PS. I’d add one huge tip, borne of experience. Even on Windows Phone 8.1, it’s still often much faster and smoother to use the multitasking carousel (long press ‘back’) than to tap on a live tile or on an application in the main app list. Accessing via the view in the carousel seems to bring up the application exactly as-is (as long as it’s still in RAM), while even with all the ‘fast resume’ code in the app and under 8.1, there’s usually some resuming or reloading behaviour if you go via a tile or icon. 

Comments?

Filed: > >

Platforms: General, Windows Phone 8
Categories: How To, Comment, Develop
 

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.


All About Windows Phone

Windows Phone 8.1 apps/multitasking FAQ

Published by at 15:50 UTC, September 2nd 2014

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, it seems, and my attempt at simplifying the situation in terms of applications and Windows Phone 8.1 multitasking/optimisation was rightly picked at by a number of developers, who live and breathe this stuff. So I got in touch with one of them, Sarah Fegert, and asked some of the more pertinent FAQ-style questions….

[My questions to Sarah, obviously, are in bold]

I gather there’s no one single ‘type’ of Windows Phone application – how many ways are there to develop for the platform?

SarahQuite a few! Most Windows Phone 7 and 8 apps were developed using a framework called “Silverlight”. What Microsoft has been doing over the last years is gradually converge the development tools and app types of Windows RT and Windows Phone into a single one. These new apps are called “Store” apps, and allow developers to write apps that run on both Windows and Windows Phone.

But to keep developers with existing apps happy, Microsoft also introduced “Silverlight 8.1”, essentially a turbocharged Silverlight, allowing existing Windows Phone apps to use most of the new features in Windows Phone 8.1.

What difference has it made for developers having Windows Phone 8.1 arrive? And, overall, is it an improvement (for developers)?

8.1 has been an incredible step forward. Windows Phone 8.0 was very restricted in what developers could do. Just one example: Most fitness trackers and smart gadgets use a technique called Bluetooth Smart to connect with your phone with minimal battery drain. Bluetooth Smart wasn’t available in Windows Phone 8, even though iOS and Android had it for years. So, Windows Phone 8.1 introduced a number of features that developers had demanded for a long time – features that often were available on competing platforms. Many of the new apps we’ve been seeing over the last weeks (FitBit, Hotel Tonight, Files, etc.) are a direct result of giving developers these tools.

My recent piece bemoaning imperfect application resumption got people talking. These being multi-GHz devices, what’s stopping every application from being quick to start and/or resume? What showstoppers are in the way?

The fundamental constraint is memory (RAM). To load an app and render the UI, the operating system needs to allocate some memory for the app, typically between 50-100 MB. When you leave an app (but don’t close it), the app stops doing anything, but remains in memory, and as long as it remains in memory, it resumes instantly when you switch back to it. What happens when you use too many apps is that the operating system would eventually run out of memory, and to prevent that from happening, it selects one or more of the suspended apps and shuts them down, freeing memory. This process is usually called tombstoning on Windows Phone. Now, obviously, tombstoned apps aren’t in memory anymore – so next time you switch back to them, the OS needs to reload the app and restore the previous state. When that happens, the user sees the dreaded “resuming…” screen. There is not really much that developers can do to prevent this from happening.

Even on the 2GB Lumia 1020, 1520, Icon and 930, just as many apps seem to end up being ‘resumed’ as on the lower RAM devices. Is Windows Phone 8.1 perhaps not using all the RAM efficiently? Is there some kind of ‘no go’ area, reserved for system or imaging use?
There are a few things to consider here actually. Firstly, because these devices have  much higher screen-resolutions, apps require more RAM. The exact factor varies between apps, but, for example, rendering a full-screen, full-resolution image on a 1520 uses 6x as much RAM as rendering a full-screen, full-resolution image on the 630. Secondly, as you say, some of the memory is reserved for system use. Thirdly, the performance of the storage (internal or SD card) may also affect how long an app takes to resume. 

Subjectively, I see less resuming screens on my 1520 than on other devices – and seeing how fluid the user experience is on my 630, Microsoft has done an excellent job optimizing resource usage, in particular if you look at how badly Android runs on low-end devices.

On these quad core multi-GHz devices, why does resuming (reloading from tombstoned state) take so long? I’d have thought reloading a (say) 50MB footprint app from internal flash memory would take well under a second, yet some apps (Skype, Twitter) seem to take much, much longer. Is this the fault of the apps or current limitations in the OS?
How fast apps resume would mostly depend on the specs of the phone. When apps are at fault, it’s usually down to not rendering a screen to the user until they’ve loaded some data from the internet or local storage. Developers can use a number of solutions to avoid this problem.

Anecdotally, I’ve never ever had Twitter ‘resuming’ for more than one second, from a Lumia 520 all the way to a 1520. Usually it’s less than half a second. I wonder if there’s a bug somewhere…)

Do Microsoft’s own applications have any special privileges, or are they in the same boat as third party apps?

They certainly do – the operating system decides which app gets shut down when the phone is low on memory. Since users are very likely to use the Start Screen or the Email app, the operating system would typically try to shut down other apps first.

AppCauldronBy the way, this is another area where the update to Windows Phone 8.1 really changed things. Apps used to have a fixed amount of RAM allocated – typically 150 MB – even if the app used only a fraction of that. Now, the memory allocated is much closer to what the app actually uses. In theory, this should improve multitasking. For example, on Windows Phone 8.0 when our users took a picture during their run on a low memory device, Track Runner would be tombstoned and the run interrupted. This is no longer an issue with the new memory allocation of WP 8.1.  

What’s your view on transitions? Do you think Microsoft should offer a way to disable them, to speed up the WP UI?

Microsoft says that transitions don’t slow down the UI, and this matches my personal experience. Within the app, transitions are optional but they make up much of the Windows Phone feel, so apps without transitions feel rather alien to the platform.

_________________

Many thanks to Sarah Fegert, one of the co-founders of The App Cauldron, Inc, the development team behind the award-winning WP-exclusive running app Track Runner.

Filed: > >

Platforms: General, Windows Phone 8
Categories: How To, Comment, Develop
 

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.


All About Windows Phone

Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2 tipped to bring some much needed updates

Windows Phone 8.1 has already proven to bring Microsoft’s mobile operating system to the level it needed in order to compete with other platforms. The updates that were added with Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 brought even more needed features, but it’s clear that Microsoft is not done. If you were wondering what the company has in store for GDR2, rumors have just arrived on the topic.

Reports claim that Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2 is going to bring support to 2K resolution on smartphone displays, and therefore providing support to new processors like the Snapdragon 805. Other hints claim that the update will also allow you to finally sort your settings menu alphabetically, and even search for specific points that you’d like to address, instead of having to scroll down and guess some times. The report goes as far as to mention that we should expect Cortana to be pushed to other regions as well.

If you’re wondering how far away we are from Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2, well, we’re actually not that far as apparently it should be ready to go live in the next two months. We’ll keep you posted as this data becomes official.

Source: Nokia Power User
Via: Phone Arena


Pocketnow