MICROSOFT WINDOWS 10 MOBILE GETS THE CHOP

Microsoft announced today on Twitter that development of new features for their mobile phone operating system Windows 10 Mobile will no longer continue. 

Designed for smartphones, Windows 10 Mobile replaced its successors, Windows Phone and Windows Phone 8.1 back in 2015.  The Microsoft Lumia brand also came about in 2015.  Lumia first appeared in 2011, previously marketed and owned by Nokia and designed to run the Windows Phone operating system before Microsoft bought out Nokia in 2013.  The Lumia series (535, 550, 950, 950 XL) were the first smartphones to run the Windows operating system.

The intention was to marry the mobile phone applications with the mainstream PC/laptop operating system so that apps could be used across both.  Trouble is, it never really caught on.  Probably down to the growing popularity of Android, the fact the Windows apps can be a bit limited in variety (I should know, I’ve got one!) and that not many smartphone brands offer the Windows operating system in their range.  The other nail in the coffin back in September this year was that Microsoft founder, Bill Gates announced he has also moved over to Android. 

So much for supporting the team, eh Bill?

However, Microsoft have said they will support other companies who adopt the Windows 10 Mobile platform and some are still releasing new models of smartphone with the operating system onboard, so it’s not dead just yet.   Microsoft admit they have struggled to incentivise companies to develop and produce universal apps for their troubled mobile phone brand unlike their competitors, the big hitters – Android and iOS. 

So what does this mean if you’ve got a Windows Phone (like me)?

Don’t panic, Microsoft will continue to support the current mobile operating system, it just means they won’t be bringing out new features or upgrades.  Support for bug fixes and security upgrades will continue.

Personally, I’ve always found the Windows Phone and its operating system just ‘ok’.   It's not exactly a bad phone and does handle it's itself well when it comes to heavy app usage although it’s a bit frustrating at times when popular apps are readily available on iOS and Android but nowhere to be seen for the Windows phone. 

But have to agree with Bill.  My next smartphone will be an Android.  

Source:

www.bbc.co.uk/news

wikipedia.org

 

 

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UBER TO INCLUDE WAITING CHARGES AND TIPS

Uber users in the UK will soon be able to add a tip to the taxi bill for the driver and be subject to waiting charges if they take too long about it.

The american car transportation (taxi) and food delivery service was founded in 2009 and now operates in 633 cities around the world.  The app software allows the passenger to book and pay for the journey via the mobile app linked to the driver’s smartphone and sat nav.  An upfront price/quote is given and debited from the customer’s bank account once the journey is complete.

As well as having some long running dispute issues over driver’s labour rights, Uber have grown massively in popularity while having their fair share of setbacks. 

 The proposed changes include:

·       Waiting charges of 20p per minute if passengers keep the driver hanging around for more than two minutes

·       Cancellation charges applicable from two minutes instead of the current five-minute grace period

·       Driver to have ability to control the trips booked

·       The option to tip the driver added to the app

·       Performance/rating of the driver to be fairer if passenger’s give a low score because the app has failed

These changes aren’t major advantages for the passenger but I guess they show Uber are managing their business more closely on the road to improving.  As a user myself the service is great when it works and can be very efficient.   When it doesn’t work it can be frustrating.  The app can be unreliable at times resulting in delays with bookings or cancelled trips.  For me it’s been about a 50/50 success rate of being able or not able to get a cab with Uber depending on my location or available drivers.

Have you had good/bad experiences with Uber? 

Let me know by leaving a reply below.

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WINDOWS 10 update coming soon

World dominating James-Bond-Villain-Like organisation/technology corporation, Microsoft are planning to release the next major update to Windows 10 in October 2017.  Known as the Fall Creators Update and codenamed Redstone 3, it's rumoured to include a new app called Story Remix for editing and adding images and video clips together to produce tailored ‘stories’.  Also included is the functionality to synchronise photographs and videos across multiple devices.   Facebook fans will have no end fund with that one. 

Other new features include Eye Control – an integrated function for controlling the mouse and keyboard entries with eye movement!  Yes I said eye movement!

The Microsoft Edge browser is also being modernised with minor changes to improve copy/paste and tab arrangements.

The Story app is also said to be compatible with iOS and Android (as well as Windows itself of course).

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Facebook are loaded! Quarterly profits reported at $3.89 Billion

Having just reported their quarterly profit numbers - 71% up from last year, Facebook's profit for the second quarter of this year is around $3.9 Billion (£3 Billion).   The increase is said to be based mainly on mobile video advertisements.

Facebook shares have also reached an all-time high with revenue reported at $9.32 Billion up 44% from last year.

Around 2 Billion of us use Facebook and that’s a lot considering there are 7.5 Billion people in total on the planet!

The money Facebook has made from mobile advertising has accounted for 87% of their total advertising revenues in the last financial quarter.

Mobile video adverts appear on phones and tablets in Google search results, usually first in the queue at the top or on the right hand side of the page.  Businesses pay a lot of money for video advertising in this space because it is so powerful and Google is so heavily used in the consumer world.  The money is made from targeted ads that relate to the search.  Since Facebook include these ads in their news feeds, they have cashed in massively by getting paid for the advertising.

My hope is that one-day Digital Speak will become so popular, I’ll be able to use Google mobile ads to become so rich and be able to run naked through a purposely built warehouse filled with fifty pound notes.  Oh well...

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Apple iOS Update Coming Soon

Apple Inc have announced the release of their updated iOS software for the iPhone and iPad. 

iOS 11 was recently unveiled along with new models of the iPad and their offering in the smart speaker market – HOMEPOD.

The software update has lots of new features including photo editing enhancements, more functionality in file and document management and an update to the camera software reducing storage space taken up by photos and videos on devices.

The update’s final version is due out September 2017.  The beta/test version is available now for the privileged few enrolled on Apple's developer programme and who like to test Apple products ahead of everyone else because they just can’t wait (whoopee-do!). 

iOS 11 should mostly benefit iPad users as it provides some similar functionality to that of a standard PC or laptop including drag and drop for moving files.

Although iOS 11 is free, it will only be available on 5th generation or later iPad models, iPad mini 2 or later and all iPad Pro models.  For iPhone users, it will only be available for iPhone 5 or later.  Users with older Apple devices will still be fine but they obviously won’t benefit from the new features.

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Mobile Roaming Charges Ceased in the EU

Roaming charges for member countries of the EU have finally been scrapped. 

Under a new law, EU citizens travelling in Europe no longer have to pay massive mobile phone data roaming charges or extra for making calls and sending texts.

Previously you could go abroad and innocently leave mobile data active on your mobile phone only to be hit with a huge bill from the mobile phone operator because the device continued to download updates or content but at premium overseas rates. 

Eventhough the EU have banned the roaming charges, care still needs to be taken because some sneaky mobile operators can still add extra fees for data usage so it's always worth checking your tariff or mobile phone contract to be absolutely sure.

What about BREXIT?  When the UK does finally leave the EU, free roaming regulations won’t automatically apply to UK law which means the British government will have to pass a law to meet the same criteria and avoid national uproar.  Let’s watch that one with interest shall we?

This is a good thing for UK citizens travelling in Europe even if most of the big operators had already put a cap on roaming charges.   It’s only fair since being slapped with a massive phone bill because of data roaming is no joke whatever country you’re in.

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