Little by little, the Windows Phone platform is being fleshed out with a bigger and wider variety of apps. For you photography fans, Adobe Photoshop Express is now available for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices as a free download. For casual edits, this means you no longer have to export your photos to your PC for Photoshop-style touchups and the like -- just use your Lumia device instead.
iPhone thefts are down as a result of kill switch technology in iOS 7
One of the debates in the mobile phone industry is whether or not so-called kill switches can actually reduce smartphone theft. Well, early indications suggest that they do. Authorities in New York and San Francisco -- two locations where smartphone theft is a growing epidemic -- say they've seen a drop in iPhone robberies since Apple implemented its Activation Lock feature in iOS 7.
How a Windows Phone saved a police officer's ass (literally)
Hollywood's already envisioned various objects saving a potential victim's hide by absorbing a bullet, but apparently it doesn't only happen in the movies. Reading like an action movie script, an overseas report tells the story of an off duty police officer in Brazil who was fired upon by two men attempting to rob his parents' house. The officer turned around in time for the bullet to deflect off his Nokia Lumia 520 handset in his back pocket.
Microsoft is giving away a limited number of Windows Phones this weekend
Statistically speaking, if you own a smartphone, there's a high probability that it's running Android or iOS. Microsoft is taking steps to change that, and if you're intrigued by what the company is doing with its Windows Phone platform, you may want to stop by a Microsoft Store this weekend, provided it's not too far out of your way. Those who do will have a chance to win a free Windows Phone.
Child protection laws prevent Cortana from interacting with kids under 13 years old
Here's something interesting -- if you're planning to purchase a Windows Phone device for your child who's not yet 13-years-old, be aware that the Cortana voice assistant software will give him or her the silent treatment. The revelation came in a Microsoft forum post in which a father asked why Cortana was telling his daughter she needs to be older to use that feature.
Tim Sweeney confirms there's interest in porting Unreal Engine 4 to Windows Phone and RT
When the time is right, Epic will make its Unreal Engine 4 platform available on Windows Phone and Windows RT. Exactly when that time will be is still up in the air, but thanks to a forum post in which Epic co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney responded to a user question, we at least know it's something the company is both interested in and has been working towards to some degree.
At least two handset makers are said to have free access to Windows Phone licenses
While various bean counters may disagree on the exact numbers, all of them have Android and iOS dominating the smartphone market. Microsoft would like nothing more than for its Windows Phone platform to at least be in the hunt, though as it stands, Windows Phone and BlackBerry are in a dogfight for a distance third place finish behind the big two. That being the case, Microsoft is reportedly offering free Windows Phone licenses to select handset makers.
This summer could see the launch of a smartphone running both Windows and Android
Can't decide between Windows Phone or Android? Perhaps soon you won't have to. Mobile phone maker Karbonn Mobiles is said to be fairly close to finishing a dual-OS handset that will run both Android and Windows Phone platforms. Assuming everything goes to plan -- Karbonn Mobiles said it already signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft -- the dual-booting smartphone will launch by June of this year.
If you're on the fence about which subscription-based streaming music service to cozy up with, Microsoft has an offer it hopes you'll find too good to refuse. That offer is a free Nokia Lumia 520 or 521 handset when you purchase a 12-month pass to Xbox Music. That's not a bad deal on a couple of levels, the first being that you're essentially receiving two months free by paying for a year in advance -- Xbox Music typically runs $9.99 per month.
If you're a lucky owner of a Windows Phone or have a giftee in mind who would love some extra storage space, it's about to be one happy holiday! Microsoft is offering extra SkyDrive storage for free in an email announcement sent to all Windows Phone users. That's 20 GB of free storage up for grabs (active for a year) so all told, 27 GB of storage simply or being a Windows Phone user!