Feeds

Years of AWOL Windows Phone features finally show up in video leaks

Long overdue 'quiet hours' function so WinPho fans can catch some shuteye

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The first major update to Windows Phone since November 2012 is expected to be revealed in April, but details have already started to emerge.

Sleuths combing through the new SDK for Windows Phone which developers released privately a week ago have published long lists of new features – and there's a purported video of the long-awaited notifications system, too.

Amongst the features identified are "actionable notifications" – familiar to Android and BB10 users – email encryption, "quiet hours", geofencing support, and more options for scanning material into Office.

The notifications system was slated for Windows Phone 8 but the team later said it didn't have time to complete the feature. You can see a demo video here, although it's obviously an early cut. The icons for "lock rotation" and "lock display" are the same – which will surely be fixed on release.

The frustration is largely cumulative. Just as the rest of Microsoft moved to an annual release cycle, Windows Phone slipped down a gear to an 18-month cycle. The WP team has released three updates since 2012 - but that Windows Phone 8 release largely entailed behind-the-scenes plumbing - putting the system on to a new kernel. This Microsoft managed to do with the minimum of pain for developers and users.

But it means the last great expansion of the feature set was in 2011, in the 7.5 "Mango" release, when Android was still on 3.2 Honeycomb. That's so long ago, it's almost old enough to feature in one our Retro Computing specials, like the Antique Code Show.

In the meantime Google has greatly improved the features, the polish and now the footprint of Android.

April should see Windows Phone 8.1 finally unveiled at Microsoft's Build conference for developers, with new devices to follow in the summer. As a consequence, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona isn't expected to see any new WP kit – it's the worst time to launch one – and acquisition of Microsoft's Nokia devices is still not quite complete. For fireworks next week, look elsewhere. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.