The BBC has announced this week that it will be discontinuing its support of the Windows Phone platform, meaning many users will be unable to use the current app to catch up on TV shows and movies while out and about, according to Tech Radar.
While the deadline for this effective excommunication of Microsoft’s mobile OS has yet to be set in stone, the broadcaster is urging users to make the leap to Windows 10 Mobile so that they can enjoy content in their web browser, rather than having to rely on an app at all.
This is yet another sign that Windows Phone and the ecosystem surrounding it is waning after years on the fringes of the marketplace, with app developers shying away from it because of a lack of user numbers.
On the plus side, the fact that iPlayer is now accessible in mobile browsers is a step in the right direction and could point to a future in which individual apps are rendered redundant in favour of a browser-focused users’ experience. This would help to break down boundaries of compatibility and prevent people from being excluded from a service because of the mobile device they have chosen to buy.
Android and Windows Phone users will know that even when a software update for their smartphone is announced, the process of rolling it out can take weeks or months. This is because there are so many third parties involved, with hardware manufacturers and network providers stifling the progress as they make their own alterations.
Apple users, on the other hand, benefit from getting iOS updates almost immediately because the company controls the software and hardware alike. And this is an approach which Microsoft is intending to take with the arrival of Windows 10 Mobile, according to WMPowerUser.
In a statement, the company revealed that it is eager to bring updates to customers as soon as possible, addressing everything from security issues to the addition of fresh features.
Microsoft did say that it is going to be working with network providers, which means that there will still be other parties involved in the process. But this should not get in the way of the rollout of Windows Phone updates to the same degree as in the past, especially now that the software giant is also responsible for its own-brand Lumia range of smartphones.
Last week it was revealed that HTC could be getting back into its partnership with Microsoft, to offer a mobile running the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, according to sources and leaked images reported on by PCMag.
The Android-based HTC One M8 is apparently going to be adapted to run Windows Phone, retaining all of its existing hardware credentials but moving away from Google’s OS, in favour of a rising rival.
The One M8 is one of the most powerful mobiles around at the moment, sporting a 5.0 inch 1080p screen and a Snapdragon 801 processor with four physical cores and 2GB of RAM to back it up. And while Windows Phone has similarly impressive specs available, courtesy of the Nokia Lumia 930, it will be good to see HTC entering the fray because of its focus on top tier design and materials in the construction of its phones.
The all-metal One M8 has received rave reviews, not just because of how well it is put together. So if HTC can apply its award-winning knowhow to Windows Phone 8.1, it could be a great combination that bolsters Microsoft?s position in the market even further.
Windows Phone 8.1 is in the process of emerging from development at the moment, which means plenty of new details about what it can achieve are emerging on a regular basis. And the latest news suggests that Microsoft is looking to keep pace with competitors by allowing manufacturers to outfit next-gen WP handsets with 2K displays.
The LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy F are already thought to be making 2K technology a feature of the Android market, but resolutions which go above and beyond full HD 1080p are also planned for Windows Phone devices this year, according to info dug up by Nokia Power User.
As well as being able to pump out visuals at 2K resolutions, WP 8.1 will also offer support for the Snapdragon 805 chipset from Qualcomm. This will be the next-gen quad core powerhouse that improves number crunching as well as efficiency on smartphones in 2014.
Nokia may be working on a phone called the Lumia 1520 Mini, according to reports from earlier this year, which will have a 2K AMOLED display in tow. So currently things are looking very exciting for people who are fans of Windows Phone.
European mobile users are warming to the Windows Phone ecosystem, with sales of compatible handsets growing at a faster rate than any of its closest rivals, according to new figures published by Kantar.
Android remains the dominant mobile OS in the UK and across the continent, taking hold of 58.4 per cent of the market in the third quarter of 2013. This puts it ahead of the 27 per cent belonging to Apple’s iOS, and the 11.4 per cent stake claimed by Windows Phone.
However, the annual increase for Microsoft’s platform is significant, given that at this point last year, it was clinging onto a much smaller 4.2 per cent slice of the European market.
This is particularly good news for Nokia, given that it is the main manufacturer of Windows Phone devices and now property of Microsoft, following a takeover deal.
Windows Phone is even beating iOS in some territories, trumping it in Italy in spite of Apple’s strong presence in other nations.
BlackBerry is the biggest loser in the latest report, with its share of the UK smartphone market dipping to 3.1 per cent, which is all the more justification for the recently announced canning of its chief exec, Thorsten Heins.