Image credit – Susan Watts/New York Daily NewsAt one point in time, mobile platforms like iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry were all battling for a slice of the pie, with organizations such as the NYPD opting to get on board with Micro…More...
Last October, Microsoft exec Joe Belfiore pretty much confirmed that the company is done with Windows 10 Mobile in terms of developing new software features and also creating new hardware. Based on this, it is safe to say that Microsoft could be done with the Surface Phone as well, a handset that has been rumored but never seen.
However could the Surface Phone be a project that’s still in the works? That’s what a Microsoft engineer in China is leading us to believe, thanks to comments that they made during a Q&A posted on Chinese website Zhihu (via WindowsLatest; via PhoneArena) in which the Surface Phone was mentioned in passing.
The Q&A was in response to a user who complained about poor integration of Cortana on Android. The comment made by the engineer reads in part, “Microsoft Cortana (Xiao Na) is a cross-platform smart assistant, available across all devices including PCs and smartphone, trying to do more like WeChat Noda. For the smart assistant, permissions is a good thing, looking forward to the perfect performance of the Surface Phone (although Hana do not know will not be a surface phone).”
Note that the comments made in the parenthesis was added afterwards, where it seemed that the engineer decided to backtrack on their comments to make it sound like they weren’t sure about the existence of the Surface Phone. Perhaps we might be reading too much into this, but why would they mention it if they weren’t sure about it, right? We guess we’ll have to wait and see if Microsoft will eventually launch such a device.
Back before iOS and Android pretty much dominated the smartphone landscape, there were several other mobile platforms in play as well, such as BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone. This meant that developers had to release apps on more than just two platforms, but like we said, given iOS and Android’s dominance, it isn’t surprising that support for other platforms is being dropped.
Just as a reminder, this includes WhatsApp for users on either BB10 or Windows Phone 8 handsets. Last year WhatsApp announced that they would be ending support for those platforms in the middle of 2017, but they later had a change of heart when they decided to extend support until end of the year.
However it looks like there will be no more extensions as support will officially end in the next few days, as noted on WhatsApp’s blog. It is actually interesting that WhatsApp will be ending their support when BlackBerry themselves have recently announced that they will be extending support for BB10 for an additional two years.
Then again we can imagine that the number of users on BB10 and Windows Phone 8 is probably too low for WhatsApp to commit their resources to either platform, at least based on the current state of things.
The New York City Police Department has announced today that it’s going to replace its 36,000 Windows phone handsets with iPhones by the end of this year. The NYPD had actually worked with Microsoft to create apps and secure the device when it decides to source tens of thousands of units for the force. Now that Windows Phone 8.1 is nearing its end, the police department has essentially been forced to buy new smartphones.
Microsoft confirmed in July that it’s going to end support for Windows Phone 8.1. A large percentage of Windows Phone-powered smartphones in the market right now are still running this version of the OS.
The NYPD’s decision to go with Windows Phones didn’t make a lot of sense to some, given that the Windows Phone market share had already dropped below 1 percent by that time. It had sourced Nokia Lumia 830 and Lumi 640 XL handsets that featured special 911 apps, case management apps, and the ability to receive assignments.
The purchase was part of a $160 million plan to help modernize the NYPD. Despite supplying over 36,000 units to the NYPD, it just wasn’t enough to help Windows Phone keep its head above the water.
It’s unclear which iPhone model the NYPD will now be sourcing for the force. It’s unlikely to be the iPhone 8, though, as it’s rumored to cost over $1,000.
Here’s yet another app that Windows Phone owners have to say goodbye to. EA Sports has confirmed today that it’s ending support for FIFA Mobile on Windows Phone later this year. The company launched this game for mobile devices last year. This “all-new football experience built for the mobile player” was released for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone in October 2016. The Windows Phone iteration is going to bite the dust.
EA has confirmed through a post on Facebook that it’s going to completely discontinue the game on Windows Phone in under three months. “On November 7, we will be turning off all online functions for FIFA Mobile for Windows mobile devices,” the post says.
Adding that the decision to retire games services “is never easy,” EA Sports confirms that it’s no longer going to support or update online services for this game.
FIFA Mobile continues to be available for rival platforms. The game itself is not going away anytime soon. It’s just that it doesn’t make much sense for EA to keep it around for Windows Phone.
That’s not surprising at all given that Windows Phone now accounts for just 0.1 percent of the global smartphone market. There’s little incentive for EA Sports to continue supporting the game for a platform that’s as good as dead.More...
According to the rumors which has been going on for a while now, WhatsApp could be considering launching a business version of its app, thus giving businesses an official means of using WhatsApp to communicate with their customers. As it stands there are businesses that do use WhatsApp to communications, but this is done so unofficially.
WhatsApp has yet to officially confirm the feature, but a couple of years ago Facebook (who owns WhatsApp) did state that they were considering it, but to date that has yet to materialize. However it seems that we could be getting closer, thanks to the latest WhatsApp beta for Windows Phone which hints at a possible business version of WhatsApp.
As you can in screenshot above, it seems that the latest beta for WhatsApp is now preventing users from using the “check” emoji in their names. This might not seem like a very big deal, but if you think about it, these “check” icons have been used by social media platforms to verify users who are who they say they are, like politicians, celebrities, journalists, and etc.
In the case of WhatsApp, it could be that they are planning on using the same icon to identify businesses who are using their platform to communicate with customers, and so to prevent misrepresentation and fraud, they are barring users from using it in their names, which makes sense.