Rumor Mill: Windows Phone 8 devices to get a standard USB port location

Apple Universal Dock

iPhones on universal docks. Photo by Yutaka Tsutano. Microsoft could be planning to provide a universal docking feature on all Windows Phone devices.

One of the things that made iOS very successful is the multitude of accessories it has – from keyboards to speaker docks, etc. – and this is because they used Apple’s proprietary port (which is rumored to be undergoing a huge change, by the way).

Microsoft may be going the same route. Currently, manufacturers seem to have their own idea for the best place to put a USB port: HTC seems to like the side (it’s on the left side on my HTC 7 Mozart), Nokia seems to prefer the top (as evident on my Lumia 710), while Samsung and many others prefer placing the port at the bottom. This creates a host of incompatibilities between devices making it impossible to create universal accessories. But if we were to trust what was being suggested by the position of the USB port on the Samsung Ativ S (currently the only official Windows Phone 8 device revealed) and the leaks of Nokia and HTC devices, we could be in for a nice surprise! Why don’t you take a peek at the photos after the break and see them for yourself?

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SkyDrive web interface gets a Modern UI face-lift, jumps into Android territory with official app too

SkyDrive

I’ve been a SkyDrive user for a long time though I have not used the service much because of its limitations back then. I preferred Dropbox over SkyDrive because it allowed no file size limits and an easier way to synchronize files. I started to use SkyDrive more through automatic backups of photos and videos I took with my HTC 7 Mozart Windows Phone but not much else. Their web app was clunky and cross-platform syncing of files through an official app was missing so I stayed with using Dropbox as my main cloud-storage solution.

Things have changed for the better though as SkyDrive underwent a transition that I think makes it a better service than it was before. Microsoft introduced a Dropbox-esque Windows (Vista and higher) and Mac OS X Lion app – a feature I’ve been waiting for (you can grab them here). Apps for Windows Phone 7 and iOS devices were also introduced. Windows 8 has it integrated. Only two problems left: the web interface and Android official app availability.

Not anymore…

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Samsung Ativ S, the first Windows Phone 8 device ever revealed

Windows Phone 8

I own two Windows Phones – an HTC 7 Mozart and a Nokia Lumia 710 which I bought yesterday. I do know that current Windows Phone devices will not be upgraded to the latest installation (WP8) due to some huge changes with its underlying code but that didn’t stop me from getting a Lumia 710. I’m still pretty much excited about WP8 and am willing to shell out some cash on a PureView-enabled Lumia if ever one gets announced next week or within the next few months. Samsung beat them to it though by being the first to announce their flagship Windows Phone 8 device – enter the Samsung Ativ S. Drum roll please!

Samsung ATIV S viewed from the side

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Windows Phone 8’s unannounced features revealed

Microsoft Surface Phone concept by Jonas-Daehnert (DeviantArt)

I wish this Microsoft Surface Phone concept was real…

The Windows Phone 8 SDK rumored to be released in the coming weeks but there are already some who have gotten their hands on leaked versions. Fortunately, they have been kind enough to show us what Microsoft has yet to tell us about. I have scoured the web for the new features that have yet to be announced officially. You shall find them after the break.

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Better late than never: My Windows Phone 8 UI concept

Windows Phone Summit

I wrote back in a former post that I made a Windows Phone 8 Start Screen UI concept. I have found my vector and proceeded to complete it. It’s quite late to show it now that Microsoft has shown the official Windows Phone 8 Start Screen but I guess it’s better late than never. I created this back on February then I totally forgot about it. Haha! Anyway, see it after the break.

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Microsoft details Windows Phone 8 Marketplace, in-app purchases

Windows Phone 7 Marketplace

According to  a Windows Phone Developer Blog post the Windows Phone 8 Marketplace will be open to developers from 180 countries at launch! Of course, consumers from those areas can take advantage of that as well by being able to browse and download apps from those markets. Finally the Philippines is supported by the App Hub! I can now sign up as a developer! I am really stoked by this! Yay!

Additionally, as mentioned in the Windows Phone Summit, besides advertising and app sales, devs can now take advantage of monetizing their investments through in-app purchases – a boon for game devs! Kaching!

For now we wait for the developer tools for Windows Phone 8 which is apparently the same for Windows 8.

More information on the link provided above. You may also see the full list of supported markets after the break (it’s quite long!):

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Windows Phone 8 is official, comes with good and bad news

Windows Phone 8 Start Screen I wanted to write about Windows Phone 8 since a few days ago but I ended up working on my new 155 gallon aquarium. So yeah, no more excuses. Let’s get to the main point: Windows Phone 8 that is.

Last Wednesday. June 20, 2012. Windows Phone Summit. I ended up late to the party because I had to rush from work. Fortunately, all I needed to do was go around my favorite tech news sites for information about Microsoft’s mobile platform. What greeted me was a whole bunch of things that would instantly boil my adrenaline. Let’s start with the good news all of which grant my wishes listed on a former post.

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