Android killed Windows Phone, not Apple

T-Mobile G1, the first Android phone

So Windows Phone is well and truly dead (excepting a tiny handful of Windows 10 devices). There it lies, buried in the graveyard of failed smartphone platforms. Cause of death: Android. Yes, really.

Apple changed everything in mobile, but in the chaotic years after its release, there was a massive opportunity to be the alternative that would ultimately dominate marketshare. It was Microsoft’s for the taking, but Google got there first.

I started reflecting on what happened to these smartphones as the 10th anniversary of the iPhone came and went. And the thought that kept occurring to me is how little everybody knew about what was about to happen to the smartphone industry before the iPhone came along. Nobody knew what they didn’t know.

That led to some hilarious quotes from competitors that are easy to mock now. BlackBerry CEO Jim Balsillie’s “in terms of a sort of a sea-change for BlackBerry, I would think that’s overstating it.” Palm CEO Ed Colligan’s “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s “It doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard.”

After they said those things, all of those CEOs tried (and failed) to adequately respond to the iPhone. BlackBerry duct-taped extra software on its aging platform and tried to make the whole screen a giant button. Palm made a go of it with webOS but couldn’t get carrier support, nor make products good enough for consumers to go out and buy their devices.

Microsoft’s response was Windows 6.5, a hack on an old OS that wasn’t designed for full touchscreen devices. Then Windows Phone 7, which was an admirable reboot with genuinely new design ideas. It came too late, though, and floundered. Windows Phone 8 took a bad situation and made it worse by angering Microsoft’s surprisingly passionate fanbase when they learned existing devices wouldn’t get software upgrades. (The same thing happened with Windows Phone 10, though by then it hardly mattered.)

Oh yeah, one more thing: somewhere in there Microsoft bought Nokia and frittered away the most storied and trusted phone brand in history. Cool job.

So while Microsoft didn’t do itself any favors, I’d argue strongly that all these machinations and flailings weren’t a response (or weren’t only a response) to the iPhone. The real enemy was the company that had set its sights on Microsoft’s phone ambitions since before the iPhone was released.

That company was Google, of course, and it only tangentially wanted to take on the iPhone. Google’s real target was always Microsoft, and it hit the bullseye.

Google’s ‘Sooner’ prototype, killed by the iPhone
 Steven Troughton-Smith

The best window into what Google was thinking about when it was creating Android is the 2012 legal fight it had with Oracle about Java. The deeply nerdy API details of that case don’t really matter now, but the process of a public, protracted court battle gives us a special and unique gift: testimony and documents.

Here’s some of what then-CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, had to say about the creation of Android:

Q. And once Android came aboard and Mr. Rubin came aboard, was there a business strategy formed about what Android would be and how it worked?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you tell the jurors about that? What was it?

A. My recollection was that the the strategy that evolved over the first year, which would be roughly 2000 and — 2006, was to build a platform — which, again, we previously discussed — that would be free and clear of some of the other licensing restrictions that were slowing down the industry, and that would, in fact, create a viable alternative to the then key players at the time. As you’ve earlier seen in the documents.

So our idea was that if we made something that was generally available, it would provide a lot of customer value; it could be a very large platform; and it would grow very quickly. All of which has, indeed, occurred.

Q: When you say open or alternative to what was out there, tell our jurors what you mean by that.

A. Well, at the time, we were quite concerned about Microsoft’s products. It’s hard to relate to that now, but at the time we were very concerned that Microsoft’s mobile strategy would be successful.

It’s also true at the time that the primary player in the industry was Nokia, who had an operating system called Symbian, which we were also concerned about.

This was before the iPhone was announced and before the whole iPhone revolution occurred.

This all sounds awfully precious now, with the benefit of hindsight. The very idea that Google was terrified of Windows Mobile is hard to wrap your head around. After all, we all know that was the iPhone that changed everything in mobile, it was the iPhone that made all those other companies launch half-cocked jerry-rigged products as a stopgap before remaking their platforms later on.

Indeed, that happened with Android, too. Andy Rubin famously revamped Android’s launch plan when we saw the original iPhone presentation:

Rubin was so astonished by what Jobs was unveiling that, on his way to a meeting, he had his driver pull over so that he could finish watching the webcast.

“Holy crap,” he said to one of his colleagues in the car. “I guess we’re not going to ship that phone.”

But go back to Schmidt in that trial for a second. The thing he and Google’s other executives were worried about was ensuring that mobile users continued to have access to Google search. He saw clearly that there would end up being a software platform that lots of different manufacturers would license and use to make phones, and he wanted Google to be on it.

Rather than trust Microsoft and Nokia and everybody else to keep their platforms open to them, Google just went ahead and made the open platform itself. And then it released it to anybody to use for free, undercutting Microsoft’s licensing fee for Windows Mobile.

What killed Windows Phone was getting beat to market by Android. It took way too long for Microsoft to release a viable competitor to the iPhone – it didn’t really land until 2010. By then, Android had already been around for two years and Verizon was selling the Droid for a year.

Back then, despite the disruption in the market that the iPhone brought, US carriers still had the power to determine winners and losers. And since only AT&T had the iPhone, the other three in the US were casting about for their competitive product. Verizon, in particular, was going to be the kingmaker.

In 2008, Verizon tapped BlackBerry’s Storm, which was a colossal failure. In 2009, Verizon looked at what else was around. Palm hadn’t been able to convince Verizon to pick up the Palm Pre and Windows Phone 7 was still a year off. So Verizon went all in on Droid and the rest is history.

This is obviously an oversimplified timeline. Nokia woulda-coulda-shoulda made a move, for example. Palm and BlackBerry and everybody else made enough mistakes to fill books.

But in mobile, there’s no greater woulda-coulda-shoulda than Windows Phone. Everything that made Android successful was stuff that Microsoft was basically already trying to do. It’s just that Microsoft did it not quite as well, not quite as free, and way too late.

[“Source-theverge”]

Here are a few easy steps to setup UPI apps on your phone

There’s no denying that demonetization has affected the public in a significant way. Thankfully, the government has provided various options for the customers to continue banking as usual with the help of easy-to-use mobile wallets as well as the newly launched UPI services. UPI stands for Unified Payments Interface, and a number of financial institutions have aligned with the project.

What can you do with UPI apps?
Well, you can send snappy payments via IMPS and even request for payments from your contacts, provided they are also using a UPI app on their smartphone. This is pretty much like a mobile wallet, but something that is inked directly with the bank.

One advantage with UPI apps is that even if you download an app from another bank, you will still be able to enter account details from your source bank without much fuss.

How to get started?
The apps are Android only for the time being, but an iPhone app is apparently on its way. Once you get the app of your choice (Yes Bank, ICICI Bank etc) on the Play Store, you will simply have to enter your mobile number that you have registered with the bank. This step will also ask you to create a new 4-digit PIN number, which is basically a password and will have to be used when users log in each time.

Following this process, you will have to create a new and unique VPA or virtual payment address. This will be used by others to send you money or identity your account. The VPA can be anything ranging from your name to the phone number.

With the VPA process out of the way, it’s now time to connect to your bank so that all your details are made visible. The transaction limit on UPI is capped at Rs 1,00,000, with the minimum being Rs 50.

To receive money from someone, you merely have to pick out the VPA name/address from your list and then request or schedule a payment. Bear in mind that you can only receive money when the user on the other end also has a UPI app.

 

 

[Source:- Techradre]

Phone 7 Plus Leaks Show 3GB of RAM, Dual-Core A10 Chip

Images have been leaked from Geekbench test results showing that the iPhone 7 Plus is set to feature a 3GB RAM and 2.37GHz dual-core ARM processor. MacRumors picked up on images that were originally found on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo for the hardware string “iPhone9,2”. According to the post, the iPhone has scored 3548 for the single-score and 6430 for the multi-core version.

As pointed out by MacRumors, this beats the score obtained by the A9 processor; the old chip managed a score of 2490 for the single-core version and 4341 for the multi-core variant. The iPhone 6s Plus, which is identified by the hardware string “iPhone8,2”, features 2GB of memory and a 1.84GHz dual-core A9 chip. The A10 also beats the 2.2GHz A9X chip – used in the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The A9X chip scored 3224 and 5466 for the single-core and multi-core respectively.

It is interesting to note that Apple might still want to differentiate between the iPhone 7 Plus and the basic 4.7-inch version by giving them different RAMs. The iPhone 7 Plus is bound to get 3GB of RAM due to its dual-lens rear camera, but it is not clear whether Apple will do the same with the iPhone 7. However, given that the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were both allotted 2GB of RAM, there is a possibility that Apple might give both smartphone variants 3GB of RAM to clearly show the upgrade in smartphones. Rival Samsung offers 4GB of RAM with the Galaxy S7, so Apple might feel tempted to offer a memory range closer to its rivals.

Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus handsets are expected to be released on September 16, with the press event set to take place on September 6. The various leaks show that the new iPhone will not differ markedly from the iPhone 6s variants, at least on the outside. This is why Apple might focus on internet upgrades such as better cameras. A 3D Touch Home button is expected to be used, which will effectively port trackpad technology from the MacBooks to Apple’s popular flagship smartphone.

Among other rumors, Apple is expected to ditch the 3.5 mm headphone port to introduce its own Lightning-equipped EarPods. Users will get one of these headphones with the iPhone box, but should they happen to lose or break the earphones, they cannot replace them with any standard headphones. This can be a headache for some users, particularly if they preferred using their own headphones. If users are fans of Beats headphones, they might be able to get their hands on Beats Lightning headphones. Understandably, those will not come cheap.

All in all, it will be interesting to see if the rumors are true. Given how most of the rumors surrounding the Galaxy Note 7 were on point, one can expect similar results for the iPhone. Apple needed to innovate to recapture the interest surrounding Samsung’s Galaxy range of smartphones, with the S7 believed to be the best smartphone out there. The press event in September should shed some more light on whether Apple has provided significant upgrades to beat its rivals.

 [Source: Technewstoday]

Microsoft could still make Windows Phone a success and here’s how

It’s not a secret that Microsoft’s mobile efforts, currently called Windows 10 Mobile, are in trouble. With a 2.6% market share worldwide, falling sales, and not one single mention at Build, it’s easy to see why.

According to Terry Myerson, the head of Windows, the company’s mobile plans are not somewhere it wants to “lead” in 2016, and potentially beyond. Instead, Microsoft will focus on devices with screens between 9- and 30-inches, a category that Windows 10 caters to perfectly.

More than 270 million people are using Windows 10 across a range of devices and the improvements that Microsoft is making — especially around the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) — mean that the experience is getting better every day. Apps, like Uber or the New York Times, are arriving on Windows 10, plugging the “app gap,” a situation that has plagued the platform for years.

While there is still a long way to go, some of the positives from the UWP are even making their way to Windows phones. This won’t be enough to convince the majority of Android or iPhone owners to switch, but it could appeal to one key market: Businesses.

Essentially, Microsoft is becoming more and more of an enterprise company over a consumer company. It makes the majority of its revenues from selling services, like Azure, to big businesses and loses most of its money on selling Lumia handsets and other consumer stuff.

This strategy is fine because Microsoft makes so much money from enterprise, but the shift to enterprise is there nonetheless. Windows 10, for example, is being adopted at unprecedented rates by businesses and Azure is fast becoming a competitor to Amazon Web Services, which leads the cloud services industry.

For a business, Microsoft is an attractive partner because it provides the whole package. A chief technology officer can simply go to Microsoft and order a few servers, the software to run them, an Office subscription, and Windows licenses — and that’s it. Done.

However, companies are increasingly finding that this strategy has one key element missing: smartphones. Thanks to the rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), employees have been choosing their own smartphone which company IT departments then have to support. This is expensive, time-consuming, and ineffective at scale.

While Apple has been making overtures to companies and has partnered with IBM, there are still a host of Android phones — not to mention different versions of iOS that aren’t the latest — that companies must work with, build software for, and support generally.

Microsoft, up until now, has not been able to offer a compelling solution to this problem. While managing an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy is expensive, it does at least have all the apps a user could want. Windows, however, likely did not. With the introduction of the Universal Windows Platform and its subsequent adoption by developers, that changes.

650back1 Microsoft could still make Windows Phone a success and here's how

Features like Continuum, which can turn a Windows Phone into a desktop computer with a Microsoft-made dock, could appeal to businesses, especially with employees who are on-the-go but need the power of a computer. Neither Apple nor Google has anything like this — beyond a small amount of tie-in between OS X and iOS — and this, really, is Microsoft’s ace in the hole.

Elsewhere, the integration with Office that Microsoft has built into Windows Phone could also be appealing. While Apple and Google have support, Microsoft actually makes Office and the apps on Windows Phones integrate nicely, even with niche features.

Now, in 2016, Microsoft can offer the whole package: software, services, and a compelling smartphone experience that is cheap, easy to manage and works well with all the services Microsoft already offers.

Of course, winning enterprise — if “winning” is the right word — is nowhere near as lucrative as owning the consumer market, as Apple does, and it will likely never be a total Microsoft smackdown. But, it could be a way for the company to get something back from the resources, both in terms of time and money, it has spent on developing Windows Phone.

It may end up that Microsoft is not, in fact, interested in Windows Phone at all. The lack of mentions at Build 2016, for instance, was not a good sign at all. It may be that Satya Nadella has realised that the ship cannot be salvaged, a 2.6% marketshare cannot be overcome, and it is best just to let the platform die slowly and quietly.

Microsoft currently has a range of compelling software on iOS, Android, and Windows for desktop and so, in many ways, it doesn’t matter if Windows Phone lives or dies. But it would likely be nice for Microsoft to be able to turn around and prove the sceptics wrong, especially as there is a broad feeling that missing mobile was one of the company’s biggest mistakes.

The position that Microsoft is in is actually very fortunate, as Windows Phone’s success does not dictate whether the company ultimately lives or dies. Unlike Apple, which derives around 60% of its revenues from the iPhone, the mobile market is not a big factor for Redmond. (Which, it’s worth noting, means Microsoft has missed out on hundreds of billions of dollars.)

The progress Microsoft has made as a company — in terms of culture — and strategically as a business have been good under Nadella, but it would be nice to see Windows Phone, a long-term failed project, succeed and this may be a way for it to do that.

 

[Source:- Winbeta]

How to change your phone number on WhatsApp (and why you should): What to do when WhatsApp voice calls don’t get through

Most of us are pretty familiar with WhatsApp Messenger. You install the app on your phone, verify it with your phone number, then get busy sending free texts and picture messages over Wi-Fi. But you can also make calls using WhatsApp. Or, at least, some of us can. Also see:WhatsApp ban: What you need to know.

If you’ve ever shopped around for a better phone tariff and put a new SIM in your phone without transferring your old number to it (this most likely applies to those of you with ‘disposable’ PAYG SIMs), you may find that people are having trouble getting hold of you. (Or they will anyway.) Also see: Best SIM-only deals.

This is because WhatsApp lists your old phone number rather than your new one, and your friends will be able to see your account only if they keep your old number on their phone or have an active conversation with you.

If you have recently changed your phone number but not told WhatsApp about the change, here’s what you should do.

How to change your WhatsApp number

1. Open the WhatsApp app and tap the three-dot icon at the top right corner. Choose Settings.

WhatsApp change number

More Stories
Recommended by

2. On the next screen choose Account.

WhatsApp change number

3. Now choose Change number.

WhatsApp change number

4. Tap Next at the top right corner of the screen.

WhatsApp change number

5. Enter your old phone number, then your new phone number, and hit Done to save.

WhatsApp change number

[Source:- PCadvisor]

Would you buy a small-screen premium Windows phone?

While we cover everything Microsoft on WinBeta, it was kind of hard to miss the usual media frenzy around Apple’s special event that happened last week. In case you were living on another planet, Apple released a new iPhone SE along a new iPad Pro, but we’ll only talk about the phone here. As usual, nearly every detail about the iPhone SE previously leaked in the press before the event, so the only surprise left was the $399 price, which is quite affordable for an iPhone with decent specs.

Apple is known for slowly iterating, and the iPhone SE features the same body as the 2013 iPhone 5S. But under the hood, the iPhone SE just looks like a repackaged iPhone 6S in a smaller form factor: both phones feature the same A9 Soc, 12MP iSight camera and 2 gigs of Ram. The only features the iPhone SE miss from its bigger sibling is the newer Touch ID sensor and the “3D Touch” screen technology that allow iPhone 6S users to access quick actions through hard presses. That doesn’t seem to be such a big deal, and the iPhone SE is still the cheapest premium iPhone ever. But of course, you have to be a fan of old-school 4-inch screens.

If the phone industry is gearing towards bigger flagship phones and “phablets”, smartphones with 4-inch screens are still very popular. It’s hard to deny it as there are still obviously a lot of old iPhones out there, but it’s also true for Windows phones as well. If you look at the latest worldwide stats from AdDuplex, the 4-inch Lumia 520 is still the most popular Windows Phone in the market with 12.1% market share. If we count all Lumias with an up to 4.5-inches screen in the latest AdDuplex stats (we count the Lumia 435, 520, 530, 630, 635, 920), we’re at 39% of all Windows phones worldwide! As a lot these phones won’t be updated to Windows 10 Mobile, it’s quite sad to left behind these small phones and the owners who love them.

AdDuplex Would you buy a small-screen premium Windows phone?

Small Windows phones are still very popular according to AdDuplex.

I think there is definitely a market for smaller premium phones because some people may care more about the specs and the camera than the big screen. Big screens are nice, but you may not need one if you don’t use your phone for gaming, reading, or other “content consumption” tasks. Also, they’re quite hard to use with one hand and they feel weird in your pocket. I think Apple is clearly acknowledging that, and I expect that a lot of old iPhone owners will likely choose to upgrade to the iPhone SE over the bigger iPhone models.

What about premium Windows phones? Well, back in June 2013, the Lumia 925 was the last Lumia flagship to ship with a 4.5-inch screen. The company moved to bigger flagships in the following months, first with the Lumia 1520 phablet which was soon followed by the 5-inch Lumia 930 in April 2014. Since then, Lumia fans have been forced to adapt to those bigger screens, as smaller devices like the 4-inch Lumia 435 or even the 4.7-inch Lumia 735 are compromised in one way or another (smaller memory, frustrating cameras, no dedicated camera buttons).

lumia435 Would you buy a small-screen premium Windows phone?

The Lumia 435 is one of the few remaining 4-inch Windows phones.

With its fifth generation of Lumias, Microsoft decided to focus its phone efforts on fewer models. The company released the big-screened Lumia 950 and 950XL for Lumia fans, but does every Lumia fan wants such a big screen? The cheaper Lumia 650, which actually looks like a bigger iPhone SE, also features a 5-inch screen. It’s definitely one of the best designed Lumias ever and it really deserves to succeed in the market, but I think it would have had a better shot at it if it was slightly smaller and cheaper. It’s also the first “metal” Lumia without a dedicated camera button, which doesn’t make a lot of sense when you remember that even the low-end Lumia 520 had one.

lumia650 Would you buy a small-screen premium Windows phone?

The Lumia 650 is one of the best-designed Lumias ever.

If you hope to find better alternatives from third-party OEMs, don’t hold your breath: the Alcatel Idol Pro 4, HP Elite x3 and Acer Jade Primo all feature screens bigger than 5 inches. Acer is rumored to be working on a mini version of the Jade Primo, but we have no more details on the handset yet.

So, we really want to know if you think the fifth generation Lumia is currently meeting everyone’s needs. And we really want to hear from our readers who love their old Lumia 920, 925 or 1020. Are you resigned to upgrade to a bigger phone, or will you keep looking for a small premium phone?

 

[Source:- Winbeta]

Windows 10 Mobile build 14283 brings phone and notification improvements

Just as the dust settles from the Windows team releasing what many presume to be the final OS build going out to older Windows phones in cumulative build 10586.164, the team releases a new build today.

Gabe Aul and the Windows team have pressed the button on releasing Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview 14283 to Insiders on the Fast Ring. With this being a Redstone release build, there are bound to be some things that get fixed, but it looks like the Windows team are also starting to get back to offering new features in releases.

Here’s what’s new in Build 14283

  • Improvements to the Phone app: We know how important it is to stay informed when someone is trying to reach you, whether that’s through notifications, Live Tiles on your Start screen, or directly within your communications applications. To help with this, we’ve added missed call and voicemail waiting indicators to the tabs inside the Phone app. Once you navigate to a tab with a missed call or voicemail – the indicator goes away. We’ve got another change coming that will keep the indicator in place until you navigate away from the tab. There is also a bug where you might not see the indicator clear right away – a fix is coming soon for this as well. Let us know what you think!
phone-app-header-1024x280 Windows 10 Mobile build 14283 brings phone and notification improvements

New phone indicators

  • Updates to Outlook Mail & Calendar: Yesterday, we released an update to the Outlook Mail & Calendar apps that introduces some new features and improvements. In Outlook Mail, you can turn off the message preview text in the message list (Settings > Reading > Conversation and turning “Show preview text” off). You can also quickly get rid of junk email in your inbox by pressing down on a message to bring up the context menu and choosing ‘Move to Junk’. In Outlook Calendar, you can now let others know “I’ll be late” directly from meeting notifications.
running-late-notif-1024x558 Windows 10 Mobile build 14283 brings phone and notification improvements

Advance notification interactions

  • Coming Soon – the Feedback Hub: When you open Insider Hub on this build, you will see a new welcome dialog for Feedback Hub. Coming in the next mobile and PC build – we are bringing together the Insider Hub and Windows Feedback apps into a single app called the Feedback Hub. The Feedback Hub carries over all of the best things from the previous two apps plus some new things Insiders will enjoy. For example, in addition to upvoting feedback, you will be able to also leave comments on feedback. We have also redesigned the homepage in Feedback Hub to bring together announcements and quests. Stay tuned as we’ll have more to say about the Feedback Hub with the next builds for mobile and PC when the app is ready for Insiders to use.

It’s finally beginning to feel like the Windows team is getting into the hang of balancing refinements with optimizations as newer builds seed to Insiders. Let’s hope the pace continues

 
[Source:- Winbeta]

Shutter Band – The Windows Phone app designed to let your Microsoft Band control your camera

The Microsoft Band marked Microsoft’s venture into the wearable industry, followed up a year or so later with the more evolved Band 2. Focused on the fitness aspect of the wearable technology industry, the Microsoft Band 2 features GPS mapped running guides, elevation monitoring, heart rate monitoring, and more. While these built-in features are awesome, Microsoft has expanded on the possibilities of the band and recently released an SDK to enable developers to build their own web apps for the wearable device.  One Reddit user has taken this SDK to heart and designed a Windows Phone app that allows your Microsoft band to control your camera.

Reddit user vixez originally posted frustrations about using timers when taking pictures, so the Redditor decided to solve the problem by coding the ShutterBand app for the Microsoft Band. The Redditor’s app is truly genius and allows Band users to use their Microsoft wearable to take pictures, record videos, toggle the flash, focus, and switch between back and front facing cameras.

The app is a Universal Windows 10 App and is completely free to download.  Weighing in at about 2 MB, the app is available by clicking the link below. The developer has promised that more features are planned for the app in the coming weeks, and so it’s best to download now to get any future updates!

 

 

[Source:- Winbeta]